Skip to main content

Full text of "Woman's mission; a series of congress papers on the philanthropic work of women, by eminent writers"

See other formats



$riii0h Commission, Chiracs (Exhibition, 1893. 










" So womanlie^ so benigne, and so meeke." CHAUCER. 







The Report of Philanthropic Work, pro- 
moted or originated by Englishwomen, which it was 
the desire of your Royal Highness that I should 
prepare, is now completed. The difficulty of even 
an approximately just record of this work will be by 
no one better understood than by yourself, familiar 
as your Royal Highness is, not only with its more 
salient evidences, but with those undercurrents, which, 
whether through giving or receiving, sweeten and 
refresh the daily life of nearly every Englishwoman. 
In reflecting over the methods within my reach in 
order to carry into effect your behest, two only seemed 
to offer any feasible means of obtaining reliable in- 
formation upon a subject embracing, necessarily, 
besides home organizations, all those missionary, 
religious, or social efforts undertaken, often under 
difficult surroundings, by Englishwomen for the 
benefit of distant and alien races, or on behalf of 
their own kith and kin settled in foreign countries. 

( vi ) 

One method was to collect all the regular pub- 
lished reports of Societies, Institutions, etc., and to 
collate these into a summary, together with any 
printed matter relating to charitable effort which I 
could obtain from other sources. This plan, though 
affording the advantages of statistical form and 
economic detail, appeared to lack that vitalizing 
touch which is given by individuality, and which is 
essential to a full understanding of personal work. 
It also had, in addition, the disadvantage of excluding 
all record of the gentle homely lives which are so 
constantly found actively employed in charity through- 
out this country, and whose quiet work diffuses sun- 
shine in many an unknown circle. 

The second method was the one I adopted, 
namely, to seek for information direct from individuals 
from the heads of all religious communities, the 
presidents or active promoters of philanthropic or 
social organizations, both large and small, and from 
women engaged, either singly or in combination with 
others, in charitable work and ask from them (a re- 
quest most willingly and kindly responded to) a per- 
sonally written report of women's work within their 
cognizance. This latter plan secured many of the 
advantages of the former; for, of course, it did not 
preclude statistics or economic details, whilst it gained 
the charm of personal narrative to which I have 
alluded. It also gave an opportunity of obtaining 
illustrations of the work in which many were engaged, 

( vii ) 

which will somewhat relieve the monotony of mere 
paper records. A list of these will accompany the 
Report, and they will be exhibited in the space 
assigned me in the Women's Building at Chicago. 

I am desirous here to record my indebtedness to 
the small Committee of Ladies who have been work- 
ing with me in the general organization requisite to 
set on foot all these inquiries. Possessed of an 
intimate knowledge of philanthropic work, and freely 
giving a large amount of time and labour, they have 
rendered me invaluable assistance in the production 
of this Report, which I hope will in some measure 
carry out your Royal Highness's wishes. 

It only remains for me to thank your Royal 
Highness in the name of the women-workers of 
Great Britain (who will perhaps in this respect permit 
me to represent them) for having taken the lead in 
bringing the matters herein contained to the know- 
ledge of their kinsfolk across the seas on the great 
occasion of the Chicago Exhibition, which, I trust, 
among many other noble results, will join not only 
two, but all nations of the world in a common bond 
of sympathy with Women's Philanthropic Work. 
I remain, with the greatest respect, 


Your Royal Highness's most dutiful and obedient 



SINCE the first inauguration of International Exhibitions in 
1851 by the Queen and Prince Consort, in London, none will 
rank among the nations of the world as more remarkable 
than that which is to be opened in Chicago this year, and 
which will give to 1893 a significant and unique place in the 
history of the material and social progress of the world. The 
former the material has been perhaps the main feature in 
previous Exhibitions. The latter the social which might 
almost, in the far-reaching scope here given to it, be called 
the moral part of the Exhibition, receives at Chicago a 
prominent and peculiar consideration. 

Moreover, under this second head, the department of 
Women's Work takes its place for the first time, and both on 
that account, and by reason of the special regard given to 
Philanthropy, much of the deeper and more lasting interest 
excited by this great Exhibition, will, I think, gather round 
the Section for which this Report has been prepared. It is 
fitting that the close of the nineteenth century should focus 
and illustrate in a definite form the share which women have 
taken in its development, of which, in my humble judgment, 
the truest and noblest, because the most natural, part, is to 
be found in philanthropic work. 

The scheme of this Section has been so generally made 
known, that it is only necessary formally to record in the 
case of Great Britain, that, having been invited by the 
Royal Commission to act on its Ladies' Committee, I was 
further requested by her Royal Highness the Princess 


x Preface. 

Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, President of the Committee, 
to make a Report of Philanthropic Work promoted or 
originated by Englishwomen. 

It appears to me, however, due to the readers of the 
Report that they should receive a short explanation of the 
method pursued for obtaining accurate information, as well 
as of the sources from which it was derived. 

The Report consists of two portions, the one this volume 
printed and published for general circulation, the other a 
series of type-written reports, bound up in five volumes, 
which will remain in the Section for reference and perusal. 
Briefly, it may be stated that these latter volumes form the 
basis of the Report, as they contain the whole body of in- 
formation in the form in which it has been derived directly 
from authoritative sources. The printed volume embodies 
and deals with the information thus obtained in a series of 
papers intended for the Congress, which have been written 
by ladies whose ability and experience have enabled them 
not only to deal with the many important questions under 
notice, but to supplement the material contained in the typed 
reports with additional information derived from personal 

To obtain the typed reports, a letter, a copy of which 
will be found at the end of this volume, was addressed not 
only to the heads of all Religious Communions, and of all 
the principal Philanthropic, Social, and Charitable Institu- 
tions, but also to those who were known to be working 
either in smaller bodies, or even single-handed, for kindred 
objects. It was requested that information of women's 
work should be supplied, and that it should be given not by 
means of printed reports, but in written papers personally 
signed. This request was most kindly responded to, and the 
information thus procured will be found in the typed volumes. 

In this connection I desire to express my deep sense 
of obligation to those who have supplied this valuable 
material. My acknowledgments are especially due to the 
Bishops and other heads of religious bodies. With respect to 
these and to many other contributors, it is not difficult for me 
to thank them for their ready response to my request ; but 
it is not so easy justly to measure the sacrifice of time taken 

Preface. xi 

from busy lives, and the labour required to supply the details, 
which have made it possible for me to draw together the 
varied but harmonious chords of energy, and to combine the 
distinct but confluent channels of benefit, so as to tell some- 
thing of the story of Women's Work in England. These 
reports, broadly speaking, have been received from the 
following sources : 

(I.) Reports of the Churches of England, Ireland, and 
Scotland ; the Moravian Church ; the Presbyterian Church 
of Scotland ; the Roman Catholic Church ; Congregational 
organizations ; Report of the Chief Rabbi of the Jewish 
Communion ; the Society of Friends : these are the reports 
of the largest English philanthropic associations, whose 
branches are scattered throughout the world. 

(II.) Reports from charitable or social bodies whose work 
is to be found in London or the great towns. 

(III.) Individual efforts for philanthropic objects. This 
section will be found to embrace many notable examples of 
individual energy, thoughtfulness, and kindness. 

Having obtained this large body of information in the 
manner described, the somewhat difficult question arose how 
best to present it to the public in a form in which its 
salient features could be most easily grasped, and its matter 
systematically grouped, while, at the same time, its wide 
scope should be brought under general observation. It was 
open to me either to edit and publish the original matter as 
it stood, or to redistribute and then summarize it, on some 
approved plan of analysis and classification. The first 
method would, I fear, have left the public somewhat be- 
wildered by a mass of undigested matter ; to the latter, which 
promised some advantages, there lay the serious objection, 
that much of the directness, freshness, and originality to 
which I have already referred, would have been converted 
more or less into the dry husks and formality of an official 
report. I have, therefore, rejected both of these methods ; 
but, in order that the readers of this book should have some 
idea of the extent and variety of the material afforded by 
the typed reports, I have added, in the form of an Appendix, 
a brief summary of the series, together with some observa- 
tions of my own suggested by their perusal. 

xii Preface. 

It appeared to me that in the process of classification into 
subjects, the original contributions should be touched by 
not only qualified and experienced, but sympathetic hands. 
The typed reports were therefore arranged in groups, and, 
with few exceptions, each of these was submitted to some 
lady possessing special knowledge of the particular subject, 
and personal experience of the work falling under it, who 
would be able to extract the virtue, and as far as possible 
embody the information, contained in the reports, in the form 
of a paper written on a subject long thought over and studied 
by the writer. 

To these ladies, the authoresses of the Congress Papers, 
I offer my warmest acknowledgments for the great service 
they have rendered to their country, whose philanthropic 
work will be under review at Chicago ; to the cause of 
philanthropy, which owes so much to the aid of the publicist ; 
and lastly, if I may mention it, to myself, of whose responsi- 
bility in this important work they have thus generously 
undertaken so large a share. 

The Sections had necessarily to be large, and the classi- 
fication elastic ; for the subjects, in spite of the endeavour to 
give a solidarity to each, necessarily overlap one another, 
as, indeed, most of the associations, societies, and charities, 
do in actual life, while each retains its definite character. 
Whatever cross divisions may be apparent in the work- 
ing of the units of a group, or of the groups in relation 
to one another, there is one feature which cannot but be 
recognized the unity of feeling and of purpose which per- 
vades all these philanthropic efforts, directed to the amelio- 
ration, in the highest sense of the word, of the lives of our 
fellow-beings. Union in effecting the purpose may or may 
not be found ; but unity and piety of purpose pervade the 
whole. And if an exact incidence of benefit from philan- 
thropic effort cannot be arrived at in the treatment of phases 
of need, still less is it possible to classify it by periods or ages 
of life. It is a law of nature. As the trees and flowers grow 
imperceptibly, so in human life infancy gently unfolds child- 
hood, and the child blossoms into the girl, and girlhood passes 
into responsible womanhood. Sharp distinctions between 
good and evil may be more or less essential in practice ; each 

Preface. xiii 

association for the welfare of these different periods may have 
its own rules and management But in a comprehensive view 
all down the lines mapped out for philanthropic effort, from 
the cradle to the grave, this overlapping of periods and these 
irregular edges projecting into one another's territory are 
lost to sight, or at least become insignificant in view of the 
common philanthropic purpose which pervades the whole. 
Collectively, as I have said, these may in their treatment 
overlap, but therein they bear all the truer likeness to the 
work they describe. 

The reports furnished from England and Scotland, and 
most conspicuously from Ireland, which deal with endeavours 
to improve the condition and cheer the toils of daily life, 
are rendered more interesting by the fact that they are 
illustrated by a collection of samples of the objects made, 
and the work done, which will be found in the Section of the 
Woman's Building allotted to this subject, where a special 
catalogue of the Section can be obtained. These material 
objects albeit of trifling value tell many a story, in lan- 
guage more eloquent than words, of how single individuals, 
setting to work with heart and mind, and pursuing the effort 
with courage and tact, can conquer the obstacles presented 
by an isolated and resourceless district, by an ignorant and 
untrained population, by an apathy and idleness arising 
mainly from the want of hopeful inspiration and skilled 
guidance. They are so many proofs, these little pieces of 
handiwork, of the industry and cleverness which lie buried 
in the poorest classes, and the effective materialization of 
which is one of the best and most reproductive objects to 
which philanthropic effort can be applied. For the work 
required in the production does not end with the object 
produced ; and the reward is not to be measured by the little 
wage given in return, in itself often an appreciable help to 
the scanty resources of a struggling family. It carries on 
into the future ; it implies that the hand which hitherto was 
idle has been trained to execute, and the eye to select and 
discriminate. The mind as well as the body has learnt the 
habit of work, the whole morale of the individual is braced 
and trained. And it should be remembered that these simple 
industrial productions shown in this Section, apart from, or 

xiv Preface. 

rather coincident with, the material benefit, have done much 
to create that spirit of confidence, self-reliance, and inde- 
pendence, without which no community can legitimately take 
its place amongst a free people. 

In reviewing the wide array of benevolent enterprise pre- 
sented by the reports, it is impossible not to be deeply 
impressed by the vast number and variety of the under- 
takings described. They seem to reach into the farthest 
limits, and to effect a just incidence of philanthropy over all 
the area of human need. So great have been the changes 
in the conditions of the life and work of the people of 
England during the last seventy years, that the new forms 
and channels through which ameliorating efforts reach them 
would almost seem to justify the common impression that 
care for the poor and suffering springs from new impulses 
of the present century. But that idea cannot be held with 
justice to those who have gone before us, or without forget- 
ting that the same kindly feelings that work to such noble 
effect in the Englishwoman of to-day animated the English- 
women of yesterday. It is certain that they did. The only 
difference is that duty and kindliness had then to work 
under very different conditions, in very different circum- 
stances, from those that prevail now ; and those circum- 
stances and conditions being bygone and forgotten, the good 
that was done in them is in danger of being forgotten too. 
Some of the more important labours of philanthropy would 
have been impossible at any point of time other than that 
at which they were accomplished that is to say, in compara- 
tively recent years ; but even of these it may be said, in most 
cases, that they are but the continuation and development, 
under altered and more effective conditions, of a benevolence 
that deserves to be called historical. 

To obtain a complete view of the matter, many things 
have to be considered ; but none, I think, with more attention 
than the greater domesticity of country life when rural Eng- 
land was a larger and more influential England than it has 
since become in comparison with the towns. Within a com- 
paratively recent period,. London was not invariably the main, 
nor is it now the only governing, centre of opinion and social 

Preface. xv 

life. The country life and thought was still a great factor 
in all that concerned the nation. Since the end of the Great 
War, and up to about sixty years ago, country life in England 
had changed but little ; and it is easy to trace the origin of 
many a great work of charity in the ordinary domestic habi- 
tudes of the manor house, or in those of the more " stately 
homes of England," to use the words of a gifted woman and 
popular writer now no more amongst us. In their own way, 
and according to the conditions and demands of the time, 
these houses fulfilled many of the charitable duties which are 
as often as not called Missions in our own day. Standing 
in the midst of properties which in pre-railway times were 
more often like distinct little settlements, moved by a con- 
scious sense of responsibility, influencing in turn their villages 
and groups of farms, they formed centres of thought and 
consideration for all within a certain area about them ; dis- 
pensing the kindnesses that are now recognized under the 
broad word Philanthropy. The ladies who presided over 
these homes lived under the influence of traditional duties, 
which they accepted as part of their inheritance, but which 
were essentially the same as those now undertaken by their 
descendants in a much wider field and affecting far greater 
numbers of their fellow-creatures. 

It will illustrate my meaning to take the bringing up and 
training of young girls, which is as important to the social 
welfare of the nation as anything that can be named. The 
manor-house, the " great house,'* or whatever it should be 
called, was in effect a training school for young servants. 
Taken from the village or the farmstead, they were variously 
employed in the kitchen, the laundry, and the dairy ; they 
were instructed in needlework as well as practised in all 
manner of domestic duties ; and this training, carried on 
under many obvious advantages, was either superintended 
by the mistress or by an experienced housekeeper, who 
answered to the Matron in our present institutions, without 
being at all behind her in efficiency and character. Here, 
too, many a growing lad found instructive employment under 
the gardeners, or in the carpenter's shop or the smithy 
belonging to the house. The children of dependents and 
poor neighbours were taught respect for religion, attended 

xvi Preface. 

the same church, participated in the same rites, and shared 
the simple piety of those over them ; finally resting in the 
old churchyard, where their progenitors, rich and poor, had 
been laid before them. Social and domestic habits, and even 
manners a small but not unimportant matter were not 
neglected. The kitchens of such houses were no inapt 
representatives of our soup kitchens, or the free dinners 
and breakfasts, and the dinners for sick persons, which now 
supplement those institutions. In severe winters, or when 
times were hard, the manor-house kitchen was a sure refuge 
from distress. Of course there were exceptionally bad times 
then as now to increase the number of the unemployed ; on 
those occasions pains were taken to find " odd jobs " about 
the estate, and works were begun which there was no crying 
need for. And what was true of the greater houses was true 
in all these particulars of the better sort of farmsteads ; of 
course with a difference, but more a difference of the means 
of living on a helpful domestic system than of disposition 
or habit. In the well-to-do farmhouse it was as easy to 
learn " the art of making home happy " as in any of the 
institutions for which there is now so much need in our 
crowded towns with their factory life and education. What 
we now know as Women's Technical Arts such as needle- 
work, cookery, dairy-management, cheese-making, did more 
than enter into the education of the poorer girls of that day ; 
they formed it. Subjects of instruction were familiar which 
are now so little considered that some of our most anxious 
inquirers fear they may die out altogether ; a prospect which 
cannot be separated from the question of women's wages and 
the comfort of poor homes. Nor was the stir of excitement 
wanting to country life. The amusements were eagerly 
taken up, and both shared and promoted by gentlefolk. 
Sixty years ago, when public questions of enormous interest 
were engrossing men's minds, there was certainly no lack of 
political animation in the provinces, where discussion was 
often carried on during the summer and winter months upon 
subjects that afterwards came into prominence in London. 
The old-fashioned libraries which were always to be found in 
the greater country houses quietly fostered tastes and 
opinions in the minds of boy and girl readers, and were 

Preface. xvii 

thus silently moulding the opinions and history of the 
future. The country bookseller was a much more important 
person, and far more bookish, than his successor ; and the 
history of Norwich illustrates the way in which provincial 
centres of independent taste and intellectual activity could 
exist, and did exist, to make their influence felt far beyond 
the radius of a country town. The education of women, in 
the scholastic meaning of the phrase, was perhaps inferior 
to that which the present generation enjoys, but in the wider 
sense of education it may be doubtful whether it was so. 
And certainly it is a mistake to suppose that the better- 
educated women were less instructed than their brothers. 
Besides, whether for men or women, good education is not 
all scholastic ; and more was learnt in the old country homes 
of England than most remember, or than many seem willing 
to believe. From such a home came " the Lady with the 
Lamp," the name by which Miss Nightingale was known to 
our soldiers in the Crimea ; and by her, as well as by other 
women who have stepped from a like seclusion with a similar 
devotedness, the lamp has been held by no unsteady hands. 

To this hour, and all over the country, there are a thousand 
little centres of benevolence which find no record here, nor 
indeed anywhere else, if not in the book of the Recording 
Angel. The fortunes of the squirearchy have fallen very 
much, but the mansion and the manor-house have not given 
up the old kindly duties, while in every town, and in every 
parish of the greater towns, you may find little coteries of 
good women who work together for the poor and helpless 
about them without a thought of dignifying their quiet labours 
by carrying them on under the name of Society or Associa- 
tion. And in the earlier days of which I have been speaking 
there was no such scope, no such freedom for the working 
of great benevolent associations as there is to-day. The 
survey of charitable effort which this report supplies carries 
us back over a period of sixty years. Great and swift have 
been the changes since 1830, and these, so far as they affect our 
subject, where they have enlarged the need of philanthropic 
activity, have at the same time extended its means and 
multiplied its channels of operation. Especially have these 
changes worked in the direction of giving a collective form 

xviii Preface. 

to efforts which were formerly left to individuals. Till the 
mutual intolerance of religious feeling began to soften, and 
the barriers of religious disability broke down (and we must 
go back just beyond the Thirties for these beginnings), 
united action amongst the members of different religious 
communities for a common good was hardly known except 
as the outcome of personal friendship or political sympathy. 
Intercommunication beyond a limited area was comparatively 
difficult, tedious, and costly ; for the railway system had yet 
to cover the land, while the postal service was still such that 
members of Parliament could raise smiles or tears by giving 
or refusing one of their twelve coveted franks. Even in the 
cities the means of communication were very poor and very 
dear. There were no cabs, no shilling fares (I believe) by 
the dismal old hackney coaches, no omnibus had yet been 
seen in the streets, and the tramway was undreamt of. 
The stir in favour of organized popular education, as of 
other organized endeavours for the welfare of the poorer 
classes of the people, was at its beginning, with all that 
was to flow from it ; and the Poor-law of Elizabeth, with its 
many abuses, remained unamended. It was in 1834 that, 
after long and strenuous discussion, the new Act for the 
Relief of the Poor was substituted for what must be regarded 
as the first legislative establishment of the right of helpless 
poverty (it had been acknowledged in the reign of Henry 
VIII.) to State Aid. At that time the discussion of the Corn 
Laws and the question of their abolition had yet to throw 
light on the rising growth of the towns and their increasing 
population and influence as compared with those of the rural 
districts. But here again we come in view of the agencies 
that have so entirely changed the conditions of social life 
in England within the last sixty years changes, as I have 
already said, which have made organized philanthropic effort 
on a broad scale comparatively easy, where before it was 
very difficult and not so much required. The invention of 
steam machinery filled many a little town with factories, 
soon making of them crowded cities, and cities where home 
life was sacrificed to the factory by the common employment 
of husband, wife, and child at the machine, and also by the 
multiplication of close and crowded tenements. In like 

Preface. xix 

manner, small seaports became great commercial cities, while 
great commercial cities took in still denser populations. It 
is in crowds like these that humanity, sympathy, fellowship, 
and that most excellent thing, decent pride, are most likely 
to be lost, and that some of the most unhappy weaknesses 
of our nature are encouraged to run riot. It is not in my 
mind to underrate the enormous blessings of the growth of 
trade consequent on the discovery of the uses of steam ; 
and how large a share of those blessings fall to the poor is 
shown by one fact alone, which is not much considered, 
namely, that an immense middle class, vast in number and 
extremely well-to-do, has arisen out of the ranks of the 
artisan and manufacturing class since Watt's tea-kettle filled 
his head with dreams. But if good came in the mass, so did 
its attendant evil. There was the overcrowding ; there was 
the feverishness of factory work in close rooms ; there was 
the temptation to spirit-drinking as a goad to exhausted 
energy ; there was the dissociation of labour from nature, and 
from common human sympathies except such as could be 
found by each in the narrow circle in which he and his fellow- 
workers moved ; and, not to speak of other evils that breed 
in crowded ports and reeking towns, there was the destruction 
of homely life and of the stamina of the race by the absorption 
of whole families into the mill men, women, and children, 
the "hands" of the factory. Individual influence, working 
locally, was quite incompetent to remedy such evils as 
these, except as it succeeded in amassing powerful machinery 
of its own. It was in this way that Lord Shaftesbury 
worked when he brought together such a body of facts, and 
enlisted so strong a force of sympathy both in "all the 
Churches " and in popular opinion, as not only insured the 
passing of the Factory Bill, but awakened a sentiment against 
the labour of women and young children in factory employ- 
ments that has never flagged since. That, however, is but 
one illustration of the growing need for organized philan- 
thropic effort. The changed conditions of social life, the 
actual creation of new classes some struggling upward, 
others plunging down brought out the need in a hundred 
shapes ; while the same changed conditions strongly favoured 
such organization in many ways. Every form of communi- 

xx Preface. 

cation was quickened, including the communication of know- 
ledge, of discovery, of sympathy ; and the whole result has 
been the establishment of countless beneficent associations 
of which the following pages speak in general and illustrate 
in detail. 

These few words of introduction will not be misappre- 
hended. Their intention is to remind the reader that there 
are links of continuity between past and present here as else- 
where. The good work that women now do in association 
was done of old from many little trivial centres of family life, 
in the quiet, unimposing way which those times permitted, 
and which satisfied them. Though rarely exhibited in united 
action, piety and charity, now combined in the beautiful word 
" Philanthropy," have run through the national life in golden 
threads from long-past centuries to our own day ; and women 
have always had a full, perhaps an unrecognized, share in 
maintaining and continuing works of mercy. To women the 
country owes many of its educational foundations. Hospitals 
and almshouses have been generously endowed by them. The 
records of old doles, orphan charities, and other pious bene- 
factions carry their names, connecting the feeling of protection 
for the young and comfort for the old which is the spring of 
so much benevolent action in our time. Two of the most 
beneficent Acts of Parliament are specially associated with 
the names of sovereigns who were women Elizabeth's Law 
for the Poor, and Queen Anne's Bounty. Both Acts bear 
the impress of having received the personal and particular 
attention of these queens, and both have exercised a strong 
influence on subsequent legislation, and on the mind of the 

Any record of the women of the Victorian Era would be 
wanting if the name of the Queen were omitted from its 
pages. Her Majesty stands foremost in its history as 
sovereign, and also as representative philanthropist. During 
the long years of her reign every effort for good and Christian 
work has obtained the Queen's personal attention and sanc- 
tion, and when, on the completion of her Jubilee, the women 
of the United Kingdom of every class, from the pauper in 
the workhouse to the highest in the land, poured out their 
tribute, this event was chronicled and embodied in an 

Preface. xxi 

enduring material form by the foundation of the Institute 
for Nurses which her Majesty organized, and to which she 
devoted the thousands which her countrywomen and subjects 
had offered. 

I venture to hope that, however inadequate to the 
importance of the subject these opening remarks may seem 
to be, this volume of Papers, together with the concluding 
analysis and notes of the original reports on which they are 
based, will not be unwelcome in the country for which it is 
written. My personal feeling and knowledge have led me 
to believe that the past and present work of Englishwomen 
would have for the American people an attraction exceeding 
any felt by other nations, however interested these may be 
in a common charity. 

In an unusual degree the blood of many races runs in our 
veins ; but we are bound together in the one historic record 
of the English-speaking peoples. One language unites us ; 
one Bible, one literature. The poetry and prose of past 
centuries, and the first achievements of Englishmen in the 
dim twilight of scientific discovery, are a common heritage of 
both nations. In the past fifty years the genius of both, 
sometimes divided, sometimes intermingled, has" kept the 
light burning. To the sacred lamp of literature American 
authors have added a peculiar radiance of their own, and the 
field of discovery and invention has been illuminated by the 
splendid achievements of American research. And as in 
these two great branches of progress we are at once co- 
inheritors and fellow-workers, so the philanthropic work of 
Englishwomen, commingled by practice and example with 
the work of American women, must, I feel, have an absorbing 
interest for those who, like ourselves, have drawn their 
national being from the Anglo-Saxon race. 


LONDON, March, 1893. 






ALEXANDER ... ... ... ... ... ... i 


AIR." By Mrs. MOLESWORTH ... ... 13 


By Miss E. SELLERS ... ... ... ... ... 35 



BROOKE-HUNT... ... ... ... ... ... 56 


SUMNER ... ... ... ... ... ... 65 


G. A. SALA ... ... ... ... ... ... 72 


COUNTESS COMPTON ... ... ... ... ... 79 





Miss MARSH ... ... ... ... ... ... 106 





xxiv Contents. 



Miss MARY H. STEER ... ... ... ... ... 149 




By the Authoress of " The Schonberg-Cotta Family " ... 178 


FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE ... ... ... ... 184 







By Mrs. GILBERT (Rosa Mulholland) ... ... ... 228 


POOR. By Miss E. S. LIDGETT ... ... ... 248 

LOUISA TWINING ... ... ... ... ... 265 


HUBBARD ... ... ... ... ... ... 273 


BARONESS BURDETT-COUTTS ... ... ... ... 284 



SCIENCE. By Miss FANNY L. CALDER ... ... 317 



MACKENZIE ... ... ... ... ... ... 329 




HUBBARD ... ... ... ... ... ... 361 


APPENDIX ... ... ... ... ... - 6g 

INDEX 463 



As waves that smile at morn are weak 
To show wild ocean tempest stirred, 

So, feebly does expression speak, 

So far the theme transcends the word. 

For words from depths of fancy brought 
Faint echoes are, though sweet or strong, 

And he who singeth all his thought 
Will never rouse the world with song. 

Theme beyond thought ! in mystery steeped, 
The living Love that walked of yore, 

Where Hermon stood, and Jordan leaped 
Against his vine-empurpled shore ; 

That thrilled a slumbering world, and broke 
The chain that fettered woman's life, 

And to a nobler purpose woke 

Her, toy of ease, or cause of strife. 

The beauty and the strength He gave, 
The love refined that shed the nard, 

The courage that could watch His grave 
Regardless of the Roman guard. 

Woman's Mission. 

And still she holds her precious gifts, 
Hath smiles to cheer, and charm to win, 

The heart that feels, the hand that lifts, 
The foot that seeks the haunts of sin. 

Not alms profuse at random thrown, 

Not class 'gainst class her lip would teach 

But brave self-help, sweet mercy shown, 
And free dependence each on each ; 

And honest toil that need supplies, 

God's first best gift to man's right hand, 

When forfeit of his Paradise 

He wandered forth to till the land. 

Now to that World's Show o'er the sea 
She saith, " O man, I send my share 

The needle's delicate tracery, 
The fresh design, the fabric fair. 

" I bring my best of hand, and loom, 
From teeming cities thronged of men, 

From Highland hills enwrapt in gloom, 
From English glade and Irish glen." 

Load the good ship, and speed her well, 
Beyond old England's furthest rock, 

And those grey cliffs that sentinel 
lerne 'gainst the billow's shock ! 

Across the wide uncultured plain, 
The brown Atlantic lone, and vast, 

That swells, and sinks, and swells again 
And whitens as she hurries past. 

Our sisters hear, and answering pour 
Their part ; from spice-embalmed isle, 

Canadian coast, and Indian shore, 
And where Australian pastures smile. 

The Work of Woman s Hand." 

So bring them forth, and proudly lay 
In that fair place, a whole world's mart, 

Where flow'rs shall bloom, and waters play, 
And powers inventive blend with art. 

Till our great kindred race abroad 

And wandering men from many a land 

Shall see them lie 'mid gem and gaud, 
And praise the work of woman's hand. 


Woman 's Mission. 


" Flowers of Thy Heart, O God, are they." 

THAT women should work for children is as natural as that 
the sun should shine or the rain fall. The human race, in 
its teeming millions, falls generally into two divisions : men 
on the one hand, women and children on the other. Where 
women have their rights, childhood is happy. In every 
clime, from the ice-bound shores of the Arctic Ocean to the 
parched deserts of the Equator, the child is seen beside the 
woman, clinging to her as his natural guardian. She is at 
once his protector and nurse, and his willing slave. Even 
when the burden becomes a heavy one, the child is borne in 
the arms and cherished in the bosom of the woman. He 
withdraws himself from her only when he enters the incipient 
stages of manhood ; and the heart of the woman aches as the 
child is lost to her. 

In all religions which have attained any wide sphere of 
influence, the idea of the Mother and Child has been presented 
as a divine one. This idea almost dominates the Christian 
religion. In many lands the symbol of the Mother and 
Child is the most common of all sacred symbols. The 
memory of the infant Christ has sanctified childhood for 
ever. Henceforth, in all Christian countries, no child can 
be born without a share in the inheritance of the common 
childhood of our Lord. 

Therefore, that women should work for children is as 
natural as that the sun should shine on the evil and on the 
good. But for the last half-century there have been more 

Women s Work for Children. 

combined and systematic efforts to promote the welfare of 
the children of the poor than were ever made before. In the 
early part of the nineteenth century many of these little ones 
were subjected to untold misery and degradation. They 
were set to work in mines, on pit-banks, in factories, in fields ; 
through snow and frost and scorching noontide heat ; in foul 
atmosphere, in darkness ; under the rule of brutal task- 
masters. They had long days of labour and short nights of 
rest ; they were always hungry and thirsty, and all but 
naked ; they lived in terror and ignorance, and were set to 
revolting and dangerous tasks. Their childhood was made 
a hell to them, from which they could only escape if they 
were strong enough to grow up to manhood. I can remember, 
when a young child, seeing a boy as small as myself descend 
from our kitchen chimney, covered with soot, and with his 
elbows and knees bleeding a terrific sight which I never 
forgot. A friend of mine, whose memory goes still further 
back, tells me he recollects the time when the children of 
farm labourers in the West of England were taken from 
their mother by the parish authorities at the age of eight 
years, and put up to a kind of auction, where the bidder 
who would take them with the lowest gratuity could have 
them bound to him as apprentices for a certain number of 
years. The suspense of the mothers until they knew into 
whose hands their little child would fall, and their anguish if 
he fell into bad ones, were indescribable. 

It is not my purpose to name all the women who have 
distinguished themselves by their care of children. That 
would be impossible. But we cannot pass over the work of 
Hannah More and her sisters. At the beginning of this 
century these unmarried women, five in number, had nearly 
one thousand children in their schools in the scattered 
Mendip villages. This gave an impetus to the education of 
the poor, the force of which has never been lost. We must 
also remember Elizabeth Barrett Browning's " Cry of the 
Children," which rang throughout England and found an 
echo in every true woman's heart, strengthening mightily the 
hands of those who were seeking to do away with child- 
labour in our factories. The consciences of many women 
were then awakened and have never slumbered again. Day 

Woman s Mission. 

by day their eyes are growing keener to discern any evil 
threatening childhood, and their ears are more open to the 
least sob coming through childish lips. 

The actual work done by English women for the children 
of the poor is extremely varied, and is often so unobtrusively 
carried on that it cannot be tabulated. We can speak only 
of the larger institutions, which send out annual reports ; but 
for every one of these there are a number of small and 
private charities, with similar objects in view, which are 
known only to the few friends and subscribers who contribute 
to their support. Homes containing ten or twelve little ones 
only, are scattered throughout the land, maintained and 
superintended by ladies, who devote a large portion of their 
leisure to them. Here and there a school of wealthy girls 
supports such a home out of their pocket-money, and they 
are entrusted with some part of the education of their young 
charges. Small hospitals and convalescent homes are 
carried on in the same way. Ladies receive sick children 
into their own homes, or place them in some cottage near at 
hand where they are under their special personal supervision. 
These small unambitious places are often the most useful, as 
they create a close and intimate knowledge of each other 
between the giver and the recipient of the charity, which 
large institutions cannot give. Reports of some of these 
small homes may be found amongst the papers forwarded 
to Chicago, which can be read by those interested in this 

The absolute helplessness of a baby makes, perhaps, the 
most touching appeal that reaches a woman's heart. We 
look at it, " an infant, with no language but a cry," so utterly 
cast upon another's care ; and a tenderness, with " thoughts 
too deep for tears," springs up in the innermost recesses of the 
spirit. Most of us see in that frail form the shrine of an 
immortal soul which our Lord has ransomed. All of us see 
the germ of a life which may prove a great blessing or an 
equal curse to the human race. Woman's work begins with 
the child in its cradle. The creche, so called to remind us 
of the manger in which lay the Babe of Bethlehem, is open 
to meet the needs of the babies of poverty-stricken women 
who are the bread-winners of their families. How long these 

Women s Work for Children. 

creches have been established in Paris and Brussels, under 
the care of Roman Catholic sisterhoods, I cannot tell. But 
in the summer of 1870, Mrs. Hilton, a member of the Society 
of Friends, visited a creche in Brussels. She had been 
working in the East End of London for some years, and the 
sad condition of little children had become an almost 
insupportable burden to her. In 1871 she opened the first 
creche established in England, in the very depths of the 
submerged population of the East End, where the babies 
were cradled in filth and fed on food which was poison to 
them. They had idle mothers, drunken mothers, widowed 
mothers who were compelled to lock them up all day, 
without food or fire, whilst they were earning their bread and 
a roof to shelter them. To rescue even a few of these little 
ones was doing what Christ would have His followers do. 
Mrs. Hilton's Creche has now been at work for twenty-two 
years, saving unnumbered little lives ; and every large town 
has followed her example, and started day-nurseries and 
public cradles of its own. Mrs. Hilton's interesting report 
contains many valuable hints as to the management of 
these institutions. 

The upper story of Mrs. Hilton's Creche forms a little 
hospital, where sick or dying children, whose mothers still 
wish to nurse them by night, are taken care of by day. 

The subject of Hospitals will be more fully dealt with 
in another Section ; but when writing on Woman's Work for 
Children it is impossible to pass on without some slight 
mention of the numerous Hospitals for Children which have 
been founded during the last fifty years. No form of charity 
is more popular in England. There are twenty public 
Hospitals for Children in London ; and unnumbered private 
ones there, and in the country, where a few sick children are 
admitted, who can be attended to by one trained nurse, 
helped by the women of the household. 

The Homes for Orphans and Fatherless Children are 
exceedingly numerous. We do not speak of such gigantic 
institutions as Dr. Barnardo's and Dr. Stephenson's, which 
were not founded by women, but which are, of course, 
largely dependent upon women for their successful manage- 
ment. In the List of London Charities there are no fewer 

8 Woman's Mission. 

than 124 Training Homes and Orphanages; and these do 
not include private ones supported at the cost of charitable 
persons, who do not ask for help from the public. Of these 
homes we can mention only two or three. 

The Home of Industry was founded by Miss Macpherson, 
in the East End of London, about twenty-two years ago. 
A large warehouse in Commercial Street, which had been 
used as a cholera hospital, was taken and fitted up as a very 
plain and homely shelter for utterly destitute or orphan 
children. Other children were admitted during the day, and 
employed in matchbox making ; an industry which is now 
discontinued. The difficulty of finding suitable employment, 
especially for the boys, led Miss Macpherson to begin her 
plan of emigration. She has now two homes in England 
and two in Canada ; and the number of children she has 
transplanted from evil and wretched surroundings in London 
to the more promising and healthy life in the Dominion of 
Canada, amounts to 5730. 

Another interesting work is that of the Brixton Orphan- 
age for Fatherless Girls. It was founded in 1876 by Mrs. 
Annie Montague, who, with a small fund of ;ioo, took 
a house and admitted into it four orphans. By prudent, yet 
speedy, degrees the scheme prospered, until in 1886, ten years 
after its commencement, three hundred fatherless girls were 
being fed, clothed, and taught without payment of any kind. 
The control and management of all the internal arrangements 
are in the hands of Mrs. Montague alone. The whole of the 
Orphanage property is vested in trustees. 

Crippled children have evoked great sympathy. The 
Cripples Nursery for Boys and Girls was opened about thirty 
years ago by Lady Caroline Turner ; a Home for Crippled 
and Afflicted Orphan Children was founded in 1877 by Mrs. 
Ginever. At the seaside, in almost every favourite health- 
resort, crooked and deformed little ones, and children limping 
about on crutches, are to be met with, drinking in such health 
as their poor little frames can receive from the sea-breezes. 
In these homes are to be found all the alleviations and 
appliances which ingenious loving-kindness and practical 
surgical science can devise. 

There are also Homes and Schools for Blind Children ; 

Women's Work for Children. 

one founded by Miss Rye, and another by Miss Newbury. 
But the Deaf and Dumb seem somehow to have escaped the 
meshes of our net. 

The Princess Mary Village Homes for little girls was 
founded in 1870 by Mrs. Meredith, to take care of and rescue 
the young daughters of prisoners with whom she was brought 
into contact by her Prison Mission. There are about two 
hundred children in these homes, which are conducted on 
the family system ; ten girls being placed in one cottage, 
under the care of a motherly matron. 

The Boarding-Out of Workhouse Children is almost 
wholly in the hands of women ; and its success or failure in 
any one place will be due to the committee of ladies, who 
undertake to superintend the children committed to their 
care. The number of boarded-out children, either orphan 
or deserted, is increasing yearly ; finding work in many 
villages for both the hands and hearts of the women. In 
the majority of cases the result is very satisfactory. The 
children lose, or rather do not acquire, the pauper taint. 
Instead of looking on the crowded workhouse school as the 
home of their childhood, to which it is only too natural to 
return, they have wholesome memories of their foster-parents, 
and the cottage life, simple and homely and human, where 
their early impressions were formed. There is perhaps no 
work done for the poor by Englishwomen more valuable 
than the careful supervision of boarded-out children. The 
Orphan Association, founded in memory of Mrs. Nassau 
Senior, is conducted on the boarding-out system. She 
was the first female Inspector of Workhouses appointed by 
the English Government, and did incalculable service to 
her country by calling attention to the miserable condition 
of children in workhouse schools. The Orphan Association 
boards out its little charges in families of the same position 
in life as that of their deceased parents. 

Of late years one of the most popular forms of charity has 
been the Children's Country Holiday. Fifty or sixty miles 
round London the smaller railway stations are familiar with 
the sight of bands of children, coming and going every fort- 
night or so, to have a holiday amongst the green fields and 
fresh air of the country. They come pallid and unhealthy- 

jo Woman 's Mission. 

looking from their homes in the slums and alleys of London, 
and they return with something like the rosy and merry faces 
of childhood. How or where the idea first started is a 
doubtful question ; but no sooner had it been started than it 
was eagerly seized upon, and carried into execution. 

But time would fail to tell of the shoe clubs ; the clothing 
clubs ; the penny and halfpenny dinners ; the tea-meetings ; 
the happy evenings ; the magic-lanterns ; the summer treats ; 
the numerous and ingenious forms in which women's charity 
is constantly and unobtrusively pouring itself out in behalf 
of the children of the poor. 

Almost the latest development of this charity has been 
the organizing of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty 
to Children. This society has been, and is, the work of 
men and women, loyally combining to achieve one end. It 
is said to have had its origin in the heart of a dying woman 
in a miserable tenement-house in New York. She sent a 
message to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Animals, that she could not die in peace for the cries of 
a child who was being cruelly used. Societies were quickly 
formed in the United States. Mr. Agnew of Liverpool 
brought the scheme home with him from a visit to America, 
and soon established a Shelter in Liverpool, which I visited 
a few weeks after it was opened. I had long been cognizant 
of the terrible deeds of cruelty done to poor children, espe- 
cially for the purpose of begging. 

In the early summer of 1884 Mr. Agnew came to London, 
and conferred with me on the founding of a society there. 
The Bishop of Bedford, Dr. Billing, then the rector of a large 
parish in the East End, introduced me and my cause to a 
small committee of ladies, meeting at the house of the 
Baroness Burdett-Coutts. They eagerly adopted the scheme, 
and from that interview our success was uninterrupted. The 
great philanthropist, Lord Shaftesbury, gladly accepted the 
position of President. Cardinal Manning, another great 
philanthropist, thoroughly acquainted with the tragedies of the 
lowest depths of London life, joined the movement heartily. 
Men and women of all religious sects and all political 
opinions made the children's cause a common ground of 
union. Benjamin Waugh, the author of " The Gaol Cradle 

Women s Work for Children. 1 1 

Who rocks it?" a man who had devoted himself to the 
welfare of street children, gave himself heart and soul to the 
work. It was discovered that unmentionable atrocities were 
perpetrated in what was considered sacred by Englishmen 
the home. The laws of our country would not allow evi- 
dence to be taken of what was going on in the privacy of 
home. It was also discovered that children were less pro- 
tected in England than in most other civilized countries. In 
1889 a bill was passed through Parliament which has been 
rightly termed the Children's Charter. Aid committees have 
been formed in most of the large towns throughout the king- 
dom ; and in every centre the consciences of men and women 
have been stirred in behalf of the sufferings of oppressed 
children. There is no need here to speak of the method and 
organization of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Children. We owe the idea of it to the United States, who 
owe to us the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Animals. May God help us to help each other in all such 
works of fellowship with Him ! 

The last year or two there has been raised an outcry of 
" What have the Churches been doing for the poor ? " This 
is what the Churches have been doing through women for 
children. It may be safely assumed that most of the women 
who have given themselves to good works have been actuated 
by religious motives. Many of them have deliberately and 
consciously sought to tread in the footsteps of their Lord. 
Those who raise the sneering cry know little of the condition 
of life in large towns fifty years ago. Under the cry of the 
drunkard, the loafer, the unemployed, there could be heard 
the still more bitter and heart-rending wail of children, for 
whom few men cared. They lived the life of beasts, without 
the beasts' immunity from mental griefs. Their young hearts 
looked forward with terror to to-morrow, and looked back 
with trembling on the sufferings of yesterday. At least the 
children have been lifted up out of the worst slime of the 
pit. There is scarcely a want that has not had some pro- 
vision made for its removal. And this has been done mainly 
by the women of the Churches ; not one Church more than 
another. The true woman's heart knows nothing of sect 
when a child is put into her arms. 

12 Woman 's Mission. 

What the nation will be thirty years hence depends chiefly 
on what the children of the present decade are. The world 
makes its progress on the little feet of childhood. That the 
work of women for children should ever cease is impossible ; 
but it is more than work for children, it is work for the 
fatherland, for humanity, for God. 



THE saying that to all questions there are more than one 
side more than one point of view from which they can be 
considered is of course a truism. And in nothing is it more 
realized than in dealing with any of our great social evils. 
In approaching such from one side alone the difficulties and 
objections are sure to obtrude themselves ; the tares grow 
apace with the wheat, the apparently inevitable mischief often 
threatens to overshadow the good we hope to do. All 
benevolent enterprise, all schemes for social improvement 
bristle with probable, and far more than probable, dangers 
and harmful results. 

Yet that this is so is no reason for letting, not " well," but 
" ill " alone, for sitting with our hands before us and consoling 
ourselves when certain sad facts of suffering and misery are 
forced upon us with the undoubtedly true, but often sorely 
misinterpreted and misapplied, dicta that " the innocent must 
suffer for the guilty ; " that " the poor must be always with 
us." The hearts of even the most rigid theorists are often 
better than their creeds ; the instincts and intuitions of human 
nature are often truer than we know. Let it be proclaimed 
on the house-tops that want and degradation are the lawful 
results of thriftlessness and intemperance, that wherever there 
is abnormal suffering it has been somebody's fault, that till 
starvation stares them in the face in the shape of their half- 
naked and half-dying children, vicious and improvident 
parents will never take heed to their ways let all this be 

14 Woman's Mission. 

proclaimed and reproclaimed, as indeed it is and should be, 
still we we women above all cannot let "the little ones" 
suffer without some effort for their relief. At the sight of 
their piteous case all the more piteous that they themselves 
are often so unconscious of its being so, accepting with the 
strange touching resignation of childhood, their woes as a 
" must be " because they are at the sight, all theories are 
thrown to the winds, " philosophy " melts into tears, tears of 
honest indignation as well as pity, which, thank God, bear 
fruit in earnest and hearty action. 

And surely this is as it should be ? Is it not often well 
to work at and from both ends ? Let us punish with the 
sternest severity not only tangible cruelty on the part of the 
parents and guardians of our poor children, but the neglect 
or indifference almost as fearful in their consequences ; let us 
instruct and enlighten by every means in our power the 
dense and stupid ignorance of their elders, which is often 
the cause of childish misery ; let us get at the parents when- 
ever and as much as we can, pointing out and emphasizing 
in every conceivable way the results of their misdoing, 
awakening by all possible appeal the spark of conscious 
responsibility for the beings they have brought into existence, 
more often dormant than utterly extinguished by their own 
dull lives and constant struggle let us do all these things 
and more. And let us say by way of parenthesis while 
doing them, let us not fall into the mistake of imagining that 
all or most children, even in poverty-stricken homes, are 
uncared for, or that all parents among the poor stand in 
need of reform. That would be a tremendous error. 

But, I repeat, while doing all this, the other side remains 
while punishing, instructing, awakening the grown men and 
women, the children stand by with their little white faces, 
the children who are growing up to be in their turn, and all 
too soon, parents themselves. The innocent, as we may hope 
they mostly are, must suffer for the guilty, it is true; but 
woe to him by whom cometh the offence of not doing all 
that can be done for them while they are innocent, impres- 
sionable, malleable, grateful ; so touchingly patient, so even 
more touchingly merry; in a word, take them in the mass 
so open to good and healthful influences. 

For the Little Ones "Food, Fun, and Fresh Air." 15 

What can we do for them ? What are we women of 
England doing for these little ones of ours, doubly ours 
surely as Christians, for are they not in a very special sense 
His who set a child in the midst of His hearers, as in much, 
a type of what they should be themselves ? It was indeed 
He who said the poor should be always with us, and He 
encouraged no short-sighted pity for their condition as poor. 
Rather, on the contrary, did He over and over again hold 
up the case of the poor and lowly as far less to be dreaded 
than that of the rich and great, with the insidious temptations 
inseparable from wealth and grandeur. But there is, it seems 
to me, a natural, a so-to-speak reasonable poverty to which we 
must believe He referred He, Himself the poor Carpenter 
of Nazareth as part of the Divine order for humanity ; and 
there are monstrous developments of this which we cannot 
but call evil and abnormal. Here in this huge and in some 
ways awful London, as in other great cities in lesser degree 
throughout our whole empire, things have got all wrong : 
the rich are too few, the poor too terribly many. What the 
future of it all will be, how, as is still prophesied by the 
hopeful, the blundering old world will, somehow or other, 
to some extent right itself again, is hidden from us in 
mysterious and sometimes it seems appalling darkness. 
There are many prophets of evil, but there are also wise 
and far-seeing among us who allow no cause for despair. 
And as in time of war special and often splendid qualities 
are called forth by the very greatness of the emergency, may 
we not take it as one of the hopeful signs of the times that 
all thoughtful men and women are daily awaking more and 
more to the vastness of the " wrongs " among us, to the 
necessity of well-considered and steady effort towards their 
right-setting ? And much is being done. 

Of the greater and one might say national work for the 
children of our poor it is not within my province to speak. 
The wisest and keenest minds are grappling with this 
realizing that even were we regardless of the welfare of the 
young for their own sake they are the men and women 
of the near future. All we can do for the bud will amply 
repay us in the flower. The higher the level to which we 
can raise our boys and girls the better for our country and 

1 6 Woman's Mission. 

for the world ; the healthier we can make them, morally 
and physically, the more ground for hope. 

But besides the great concerns of schools, hospitals, 
reformatories, and refuges for the absolutely destitute our 
poor waifs and strays other, more modest and less known 
work is being done ; and about this it is my pleasant task to 
write something, though but very superficially. For a great 
part of this work has been inaugurated and is carried out by 
the women of Great Britain, and it is work which is capable 
of almost endless increase and improvement ; work which, 
as I shall endeavour to explain in fuller detail, may be 
taken part in and helped on in some way by almost every 
well-to-do family among us, necessitating in many cases 
small outlay and small responsibility ; good work, which is 
perhaps best done by private enterprise alone, unburdened 
by committees, reports, and the cumbrous though unavoidable 
machinery accompanying the organization and direction of 
great institutions. 

It may be well to separate my subject into three divisions. 
In a certain sense it may all be classed as "supplementary 
work," for it does not deal with the absolutely destitute and 
starving, nor with the entirely neglected and uncared for. 
And as in childhood, even more than in maturer life, human 
beings are more conscious of their existence as bodies with 
souls than as " souls with bodies " the ideal state to which 
a great thinker would fain have us attain let us begin with 
the efforts now making, and that have for many years been 
successfully carried on, to supplement the scanty and 
insufficient nourishment which is all that scores and hundreds 
of poor though not homeless children have to look to as 
their daily bread, before we pass to the second and perhaps 
more interesting part of my story ; the endeavours in 
various directions to bring some brightness into the lives of 
the young of our poorer classes, to teach them to be happy 
in simple and legitimate ways, to implant in them some 
taste for, some idea of pure and refined pleasures. For the 
very suggestion of such bears fruit : to know that these 
sources of happiness do exist, does good. To parody the 
old quotation which would not be so hackneyed if it were 
not so true, if it be " better to have loved and lost than never 

For the Little Ones " Food, Fun, and Fresh Air" 17 

to have loved at all," surely to have spent some merry evenings 
in innocent amusement, to have seen the green fields and the 
primroses but once in a child life, is better than to have no 
conception of any play but coarse romping in the streets, no 
notion of any landscape but that of the man-made town ! 

And if innocent and lawful recreations are not provided, 
their place is sure to be usurped by evil ones : it is in the 
empty, unstocked garden that the poisonous weeds flourish. 
Men and women, boys and girls still more, struggle sorely 
to be happy ; something to admire, to interest, to attract, 
the young must have, and the half-unconscious yearning for 
this lasts long. The love of beauty, even though distorted 
so as to be scarcely recognizable, dies very hard in even the 
most degraded. 

I am wandering from our hungry children, but we must 
keep them waiting a moment longer while I make one other 
preliminary remark which seems to me of great importance. 
It is this I believe that one of the most distinctly happy 
effects of the kind of benevolent effort which we are 
considering is that it brings home so plainly to the children 
the fact that among their superiors in the social scale, above 
all among " ladies," there are those that do care for them. 
The drawing closer together of the classes, the inspiring the 
poor with confidence in the sympathy of the rich, are among 
the greatest goods that can be done to both. And towards 
children it comes so easily to be friendly and affectionate. 
Shyness and scores of " big people " are consumed with 
shyness when they come in contact with any class but their 
own melts before their hearty simplicity, their absence of 
self-consciousness. A rather grimy little mouth held up to 
"kiss the lady" may not be precisely tempting, but it is 
irresistible ; Tommy's " My eye, ain't it jolly ? " if not 
exactly a graceful and elegant acknowledgment of his slice 
of Christmas pudding, comes from his heart and goes to 
yours. And when two hearts meet is not half or all the 
battle won ? 

And Tommy and even the smutty baby don't always 
forget. Some seed takes root in childish memories and 
grows there and bears fruit, and if the first tender sprout be 
cared for and watered and encouraged, who can say to what 


1 8 Woman s Mission. 

grandeur and beauty it may not attain, nor how many 
happy "birds of Heaven" may "find lodging under its 
shadow " ? 

" Hungry " is scarcely the word by which to describe the 
poor, insufficiently nourished mites in whose behalf the first 
good work I have to notice was inaugurated. There is 
something hearty and healthy in the expression, which makes 
us think of rosy cheeks and bright eyes round the breakfast- 
table or of merry little feet trotting home to the pleasant 
nursery tea. The children of the poor of the very poor 
are seldom " hungry " in this cheery way. " Half-starved " 
better describes their chronic condition. One of the saddest 
things at a poor children's treat in a large town especially 
is that so many among them eat so little. They are so 
accustomed, so inured to not having enough, that when a 
plentiful meal is put before them they cannot readily do 
justice to it ; in many cases they are always passively 
enduring the first stages of the suffering of which the acute 
form is starvation. 

It was in the year 1863 that a short article in Punch, 
headed "Dinners for Poor Children Wanted," drew the 
attention of some benevolent women, already much interested 
in Ragged School and other similar work, to the miserably 
ill-fed condition of many of the little pupils at the schools 
in New Tothill Street, Westminster. The teachers of these 
schools, and those of others as well, were aware of the sad 
state of matters, often finding it impossible to make any way 
with their poor scholars, whose minds could scarcely be 
expected to take in instruction when their bodies were almost 
starving. And efforts had been made by the teachers from 
time to time to procure a little food for the children to 
supplement the miserable fare which was all they could get 
at their own homes. 

But to be effectual, such assistance requires to be organized 
and systematic. Thanks to the leaders in this movement 
the late Baroness Mayer de Rothschild and her sister the 
year 1864 saw established a sensible and practical scheme for 
providing one good dinner a fortnight to fifty of the most 
needy among the children at these schools. 

One good meal in a fortnight ! It does not sound very 

For the Little Ones "Food, Fun, and Fresh Air." 19 

much to us, who are in distress and anxiety if our children 
pass half a day with less than their usual nourishment. But 
practically it has been found to mean a good deal. For the 
poor little people's improved condition and appearance soon 
rewarded their benefactors, and led to other kindly persons 
interesting themselves in this simple and sensible charity ; 
which thus rapidly extended and grew. By the end of 1865 
it was found that over three thousand dinners had been given 
at these same New Tothill Street Schools. Then followed 
a successful appeal in the Times, and a large meeting at the 
house of the late Lord Mount Temple, resulting in the formal 
inauguration under the presidency of the father of so many 
philanthropic schemes, the late well-known Lord Shaffcesbury, 
of "The Destitute Children's Dinner Society." And under 
this name the society still exists, though so immensely 
enlarged that it is difficult to recognize as the same which 
sprang from the modest beginning of twenty-five weekly 
dinners in one school, a good work which in 1891 provided 
no less than 290,476 dinners in fifty-five dining-rooms in 
various parts of London. 

The causes of the success of this good work initiated, 
as I have said, by two or three women at their own cost are 
not far to seek. It was sorely needed, and it has been carried 
out on sensible and practical lines. The rules are few and 
simple ; care being taken that the great danger always to 
be apprehended in charitable schemes, that of pauperizing 
those whom it was meant to benefit, is guarded against as 
thoroughly as possible, by strict inquiry into the real need 
of the children admitted to the dinners, and by charging a 
small sum, at first a penny, now only a halfpenny, for the 
plateful of good honest " Irish stew," composed of beef or 
mutton, potatoes, barley or rice, and onions, accompanied by 
a substantial slice of bread. The cooking, laying of the table, 
washing up, etc., are done by a few of the elder school-girls 
in turn, under proper superintendence ; thus benefiting the 
young cooks as well as those for whom they work. Clean 
hands and faces, orderly manners at table, are insisted upon ; 
grace is sung by the children before and after the meal, thus 
utilizing the charity as a moral influence for good as well as 
a material benefit Some idea of its present extent may be 

2O Woman s Mission. 

better arrived at, by mentioning the figures to which the 
children's halfpence now amount. In 1890 the sum thus paid 
in fifty-nine dining-rooms came to 606 i8s. 7^.; 1891 to 
^588 i6s. $\d. ; these being met respectively by grants from 
the society of 1377 and 1274. 

On the death of Lord Shaftesbury the presidency of the 
work reverted to woman's hands, those of Lady Burdett- 
Coutts ; one of its warmest and most liberal supporters. And 
this parent society has now to boast of several others, in 
some cases off-shoots from itself, in some, independent imita- 
tors working on similar lines, both in London and in various 
other places throughout the country, notably in the large 
provincial towns where the same sad shadows of want and 
need dog the footsteps of great material enterprise. 

Of these perhaps the first to be noticed are the dining- 
rooms for children in connection with the Board Schools, 
which are organized on much the same lines as the " Destitute 
Children's dinners " which we have been considering in some 
detail. And though these Board School free dinners were 
not originated, as were their precursors, by women, it is in- 
variably the lady members of the Board, and other women 
helpers, who chiefly manage and carry them on. 

The Mildmay Institutions also provide dinners for boys 
and girls during the winter, in connection with the parent 
society, to the extent of sixty or seventy a day. 

Then there are the free or rather penny dinners during 
the winter months, in connection with various Jewish schools 
at Stepney, Sandys Row, etc. These are, I think, without 
exception, dependent upon and under the charge of ladies. 
Mrs. Adler, the President of this work at Sandys Row, was 
one of the first to take up the idea. At the present moment 
under her management, 1400 dinners of Irish stew or sub- 
stantial soup, with a good slice of bread and jam to finish 
up are provided weekly. And there are private enterprises 
of the same kind, which it is often difficult to discover in their 
modest retirement, such as the " Dinner-Table for Children 
and Invalids," founded and carried on by Lady Thompson 
and her daughter at 60, Paddington Street, where hungry 
little people may dine twice a week for the sum of one 
penny, and some for nothing at all, according to their 

For the Little Ones "'Food, Fun, and Fresk Air." 2 1 

need; care being taken to ensure the real eligibility of the 

And these hospitable schemes are not limited to dinners. 
The list of free or cheap breakfasts for the children of the 
poor is long and satisfactory. And surely if a dinnerless 
child is a melancholy idea, that of a boy or girl who has had 
no breakfast, especially on a cold or damp winter morning, 
is still worse ! How can they do their lessons under such 
conditions ? how can they keep their tempers ? how can they 
resist the temptation, should it offer, of stealing a penny roll ? 

But as a workman was heard to say the other day in 
reference to a mission-room where these breakfasts for chil- 
dren are provided, there are " those as thinks for 'em. 'Tis 
nice to see 'em go in blue and come out rosy." I have in my 
thoughts just such a room but a few streets off, where year 
after year, thanks to the energy of one kind-hearted woman, 
during the winter months one hundred morning meals are 
daily provided for needy boys and girls ; breakfasts of cocoa 
and bread, and porridge and milk on alternate days, the 
utmost care being taken that no abuse or misuse is made of 
this charity of course a most necessary and a perfectly pos- 
sible precaution. No child is allowed to have more than two 
breakfasts a week, and no child receives a ticket except from 
the heads of the schools it attends or from the clergy of the 
parish, who are intimately acquainted with the actual circum- 
stances of all their poor. 

The Church Extension Association has of late years done 
much in the way of providing children's dinners and break- 
fasts those at several places being under the management 
of the Kilburn Sisters. The number of halfpenny dinners 
given by this association in 1892 amounted to 53,700, and 
breakfasts on a corresponding scale. A very attractive charity 
has also been carried on by this same society for upwards of 
twenty years in the shape of Sunday breakfasts, or, to use 
the quaint name the children themselves have adopted, " Bun 
Schools." For the fare, in honour of the day which should 
be the happiest of the seven, is somewhat choicer than that 
of the week-day breakfasts. It consists of a mug of tea and 
a currant roll. These Sunday breakfasts, superintended by 
women volunteers, were inaugurated in behalf of real gutter- 

22 Womaii 's Mission. 

children, and in many instances proved to be the thin end 
of the wedge for better things. 

To bring some sunshine into the lives of the children of our 
poor, to teach them " how to play " innocently and healthily, 
is, on broad lines, the object of the second section of the 
work of women among the little ones which I have to 
describe, and which I have roughly classed as " Fun." The 
very idea of such a thing for those who are in many cases 
in actual need of food and clothing is in itself a novel and 
modern one, which found no place in charitable schemes not 
so very many years ago. Let us hope that this special 
extension of our thought and sympathy is one of the un- 
doubtedly good signs of the times ; that the wish to give to 
poor children some share in the heritage of joy and merri- 
ment which we should think it so hard, so very hard for our 
own boys and girls to be deprived of, testifies to an ever- 
increasing spirit of true humanity, of realizing the great fact 
of our brother- and sisterhood. 

And in this department we find that it is again women 
who have been the leaders and the pioneers. Occasional 
treats for children school feasts in the country, Christmas 
parties in the towns have for long been recognized insti- 
tutions, arranged and managed by each parish for itself ; by 
the leading women of each parish in most cases. But the 
idea of a, so to say, all-the-year-round scheme of recreation 
and amusement, a regular system of pleasure and fun as a 
part of every-day life for the poor, as it has always been for 
the rich, is a delightful novelty. 

The most important of these societies, the Children's 
Happy Evenings Association, though not the first in order 
of time, as the Ragged Schools had already started " recreative 
evenings " for their members begun but three years ago at 
one school in Lambeth, now numbers twenty-seven branches 
in widely-separated poor parts of London. At these centres, 
once a week or once a fortnight, thousands of children meet 
for healthy and hearty amusement. Lady Jeune and the 
Misses Heather-Bigg were the initiators of this movement, 
one surely of the very best ever thought of, for the human- 
izing, refining, and brightening these dull little lives. And 
the considerate care and practical good sense with which the 

For the Little Ones "Food, Fun, and Fresh Air" 23 

scheme has been carried out by these its first promoters, and 
other wise and kindly-hearted women, true lovers of children, 
among whom Mrs. Moberley Bell must be mentioned as one 
of the most devoted workers, are shown by the tangible 
results. Every year sees new branches started under the 
supervision of the original society, or similar associations are 
formed on the same lines, though managed independently. 

As a rule, the children meet in the largest room of the 
schools, where, in the earlier hours, books and lessons are 
the order of the day. And now the walls re-echo to very 
different sounds from those they are accustomed to. A piano, 
very possibly no longer in its first youth, poor thing ! but 
none the worse for that if it means that it has been the gift 
of a well-wisher, and has not to be paid for, responds to the 
willing fingers of some girl looking nearly as merry as the 
little folk who dance to her inspiriting tunes ; or a game of 
" musical chairs " leaves them all breathless with running and 
laughter, though they soon find their voices again when they 
sit down on the floor for a rest, and sing with might and 
main some favourite chorus. 

In another part of the room skipping-rope competitions 
are going on trials of skill in which the boys as well as their 
sisters do not disdain to take part. Quieter tastes, too, are 
by no means left unprovided for. Several branches have 
their own special features, suggested no doubt by the par- 
ticular proficiency or capacities of the directors of the recrea- 
tions. For instance, at one school in Marylebone the 
children have become quite adroit at getting up little scenic 
effects tableaux vivants and so on with the aid of the very 
simplest materials ; in another they have learnt to use their 
toy paint-boxes with great success ; in a third their neat- 
handedness and inventiveness have been exercised in the 
manufacture of toy tables and chairs of cork and wood, 
helped by pins and shreds of wool ; the filling of scrap-books 
with old Christmas cards is another very favourite amuse- 
ment ; and at all " happy evenings " you are sure to find 
a room devoted to reading or telling stories. Here you may 
see the narrator surrounded by a circle of eager and intent 
little ones, transported for the time to those blissful regions of 
fairyland whose doors should surely never be closed to any 

24 Womaris Mission. 

child, rich or poor ; nay, rather should they not open the 
more widely to those whose real lives are so denuded of 
sweetness and beauty ? 

The " happy evening " ends all too soon ; the last of the 
programme being, like the first, a lively march to some 
stirring tune, and the children flock off their " good-nights " 
interrupted by many a " mayn't I come next time ? " to 
dream, let us hope, of fun and frolic and fairyland, or, better 
still, however vaguely, of some far-off world where there are 
no rough words, no tears, no headaches where the secret 
of all the happiness is love. 

Now and then, at Christmas time or on some special 
occasion, there comes a grand "field-day." A tea-party is 
given with unlimited cake and buns, or a Punch and Judy 
show is provided by some kind friend. Magic-lantern enter- 
tainments are of course popular, and conjuring wonders, and 
Negro minstrels are not unknown ; and what perhaps gives 
most pleasure of anything, the children are sometimes them- 
selves the entertainers, on more than one occasion having 
been allowed to invite their parents to witness some special 
performance which they had been helped to get up. 

The effect of these " happy evenings " reaches far. From 
one centre, in a peculiarly neglected and somewhat outlying 
part of North- West London, established not long ago, I hear 
that the drawing together in heart and sympathy of the 
children and their grown-up playfellows-for-the-time has been 
already productive of most satisfactory results. The little 
people are now more than manageable ; they are developing 
courtesy, good manners, and consideration for others to a 
degree that is more than praiseworthy when one remembers 
the terrible roughness and almost savagery of their daily 

For in this district the circumstances of the homes are 
particularly miserable, the mothers being as a rule the ab- 
sentees for twelve, sixteen, or even eighteen hours of the 
twenty-four working at the great steam-laundries which 
here abound, till late, terribly late at night ; so that even 
more than in other poor neighbourhoods the streets have 
been literally the children's only play-room, the word " home " 
a mockery. In such a case, one could indeed find it in 

For the Little Ones "Food, Fun, and Fresh Air'' 25 

one's heart to wish that the "happy evenings" were a daily 

This good work can with comparatively small effort be 
enormously increased, as may be practically shown to any 
one interested in the details of the organization. The cost 
above all where the schoolrooms are lent is extremely 
small;] from 12 to 15 a year, roughly speaking a half- 
penny a child per evening covering, the outlay required for 
the average attendance about one hundred and fifty, weekly 
or fortnightly. The volunteers to play with and superintend 
the children need only promise two hours weekly or fort- 
nightly no very heavy burden surely. 

But nothing, good work of no kind excepted, is perfect. 
There are always possible objections ; there are, even more 
certainly, the objectors, and one often hears these "happy 
evenings" decried as having a bad influence on the boys 
and girls for whose benefit they exist, in "destroying their 
love for home," and " keeping them out in the streets too 
late." To such I would reply that no doubt modifications 
of the general scheme may sometimes be advisable, and 
should be left to the good sense of the managers. Each 
individual district presents its own individual features. In 
such a neighbourhood as the one I have alluded to, every 
possible objection of the kind falls to the ground. When 
every evening is spent in the streets, surely one a week is all 
too little for the children to be under loving supervision 
though not that of their parents ; when homes are no homes, 
owing to the mother's often unavoidable absence, surely there 
can be no interference with their sacredness. In other places 
one invitation a fortnight may perhaps be as much as is 
necessary or advisable ; but it is difficult to believe that in 
any case this moderate amount of "innocent dissipation," 
certainly not more than the wisest mothers in our class 
would allow for their little ones, can be in any sense noxious. 

Still there are those to whose judgment one would defer, 
who object to evening treats, and in these cases there is the 
alternative of a different hour. The workers at the Women's 
University Settlement in Southwark, for instance, have found 
that it better suited the conditions of the poor children of 
that part of the world to have their weekly fun in the morn- 

26 Woman's Mission. 

ing. And every Saturday, therefore, sees merry little people 
assembled for games, and music, and story-telling in the various 
schoolrooms lent for the purpose, with again the happiest 
results. And these ladies, headed by their energetic leader, 
Miss Sewell, undertake another kindly and pleasant task in 
the same direction. On holiday afternoons small parties of six 
to ten schoolgirls are escorted by them to the different exhibi- 
tions of pictures and other desirable resorts among them the 
Zoological Gardens to the great delight of the children ; who, 
with the very rarest exceptions, conduct themselves with the 
utmost propriety and docility. 

This same centre of philanthropic enterprise for women 
is full of resources at holiday times for adding to the safe and 
wholesome enjoyment of the surrounding poor children. It 
would be difficult to name a "treat" that they have not 
planned or any new ideas for brightening these little lives 
which they are not eager to try. 

It may not be out of place here to speak of a society 
whose very name is full of charming suggestion the Santa 
Claus Society. The Santa Glaus Home, I must explain a 
sort of supplementary convalescent hospital for children, 
specially organized to meet special needs is a separate work 
which grew out of the original idea, and does not fall within 
the limits of this paper. It is the original society, whose 
sweet and tender object is almost told by its name, of which 
I would speak. 

This name Claus or Klaus is, as almost everybody knows, 
the familiar northern abbreviation of that of the child-loving 
saint, Nicholas of Myra, who more than fifteen hundred years 
ago, in the far-off East, devoted himself to the service of the 
little ones ; the good bishop whose modesty was so great that 
he hid his kind deeds by every possible device. And there 
is a pleasing irony of fate in the fact that this very name of 
his which he strove to conceal, should still, after all these 
centuries, be a household word throughout Europe, while yet 
the legend of his shrinking humility lingers in the fascinating 
mystery surrounding the ever invisible nursery benefactor. 

The object of this kindly little society was to provide 
toys, of which dolls are the most conspicuous feature, to the 
little sufferers in our children's wards and children's hospitals. 

For the Little Ones "Food, Fun, and Fresh Air" 27 

It was started in 1885 by the Misses Charles on very simple 
and almost private lines. Since then it has grown so much 
that every year an exhibition of the dolls takes place, at 
which prizes are given for the best dressed, and at the same 
time a sale is held for the benefit of the society. The pleasure 
the gifts bestow is reward indeed to the givers. Many of the 
children can at first scarcely realize that Santa Claus has sent 
them something. For " at home we didn't have no Christ- 
mas," says one little patient ; and " he never brought us 
nothing before," says another in delighted astonishment 

Think of a child that has never had a toy ! Did you ever 
hear the true story of a, I think, chronic little sufferer, whose 
only playthings were the spots of damp on the wall at the 
side of her bed, to which she gave names and imaginary 
qualities ? Or another equally true story, which came within 
my knowledge the other day. A teacher at a Sunday school 
was endeavouring to give her little pupils some notion of the 
real meaning of giving that whatever it may be, our offer- 
ing to God should be of our best, of what we most prize. 
And in one baby heart her words found response. The little 
creature confided to her teacher on the next occasion her 
offering : it was a little carefully tied-up packet containing 
a few grains of rice, her most prized, perhaps her only 
treasure ! 

There are many other associations already in existence 
whose general objects are those which we have been dis- 
cussing ; the bringing some sunshine into childish lives, the 
teaching these poor little boys and girls how to play. We 
find these societies scattered throughout the provinces ; we 
hear of the movement spreading in the country, where in 
winter especially cottage evenings are often very dull and 
dreary. And everywhere we find that women, even if not, as 
in many cases they are, the actual originators of the " happy 
evenings," or children's treats of every kind, are yet invariably 
the great workers in these directions. It seems to be essen- 
tially a woman's work, this beautifying of young lives, this 
embroidery, as it were, on the substantial charities already 
existing. It is not confined to Church workers, though I 
think I may say that in no parish is the idea now ignored 
by the clergy and their helpers. We find it in full swing 

28 Woman s Mission. 

among the Wesleyan women workers of the community ; it 
is excellently carried out by the ladies forming the com- 
mittees of the Jewish schools at Stepney, Bayswater and else- 
where. The poor German children who abound in some parts 
of London are not forgotten by the rich women of their nation 
resident here, especially at Christmas time, when much is 
done by the lady members of the German Lutheran com- 
munity to make the little people happy. It is coming it 
has come indeed to be strongly realized that human buds 
and blossoms need sunshine for their full and normal growth 
and development just as certainly as do those of the vegetable 
world sunshine moral and spiritual for our boys and girls 
we must have if the great battle of good over evil, of love 
over hatred is ever to be won. 

And sunshine in the literal sense too, our poor children 
need ; the want of it is told all too pitifully by their pallid 
and prematurely careworn faces. Sunshine, it is true, we 
cannot ensure very much of in this uncertain climate of ours, 
even for our own little people ; it is one of the things that in 
England money cannot buy. But some chance of enjoying 
it when it does come, and at any rate a certainty of fresh 
air a sight of fields and trees, of the " real country " as one 
hears it sometimes pathetically described wanderings in 
green lanes and scrambles in quest of wild flowers, or a breath 
of the sea, an enraptured vision of the dancing waves, races 
on the " lovely smooth sands," and the inexhaustible delights 
of wooden spades and tin buckets all these boons we can 
give some measure of to the poor boys and girls of our great 
towns. And perhaps no charitable work is so popular, so 
sure to evoke sympathy and ready co-operation as this. Since 
the idea of it first struck some thoughtful and wise as well as 
kind-hearted women but a few years ago, the work has spread 
and increased at a really astonishing rate ; and as time goes 
on and the lessons of practical experience are profited by, 
there is every reason to believe that the effort will prosper 
more and more, while the few flaws, the inevitable mistakes 
attending a first start in any new direction gradually drop off 
and disappear. 

The success and present working of the Country Holiday 
Schemes, and Fresh Air Missions, in a general way, may be 

For the Little Ones "Food, Fun, and Fresh Air." 29 

shown by a few particulars from the reports of some of the 
principal centres. And though these cannot all be said to 
have been inaugurated by women, still it is undoubtedly the 
case that from women came the first suggestion of the thing, 
and that women are the main workers and managers of the 
whole. But above and beyond the satisfactory results thus 
borne witness to, there is, one is glad to know, an immense 
deal of good work in this special way of which no printed 
reports are published, no committee meetings held : quiet, 
unobtrusive, sensible endeavour to do what can be done 
privately, but not on that account the less thoroughly, to give, 
if but in each case to a very few of the pale-faced little dwellers 
in the towns, some share in the delights and benefits of a 
week or a fortnight or, better still, three weeks in the country. 
It is a kind of good work which it is very easy to do well in 
this modest way. It is indeed a question whether private 
enterprise in this direction is not the best of all. If families 
with sufficiently commodious country houses take even two 
poor children at a time for a fortnight, during four or five 
months of the fine season, twenty little people are thus 
benefited, without the housekeeping books showing any 
difference to speak of for the appetites of these town chil- 
dren as a rule are small ; and as for the third-class railway 
fares, in what better direction could one spend a certain pro- 
portion of the money which surely can never be conscientiously 
looked upon as all ours ? And in this way one gets to know 
the children individually ; other good influences besides those 
of " the sunshine and the flowers " are brought directly and 
indirectly to bear upon them ; year after year in some cases, 
they come to look forward to the fortnight under the roof of 
their more prosperous friends as the bright spot in their lives. 
They learn to believe in the love and sympathy they are 
actually conscious of. 

In many instances the experiment has been tried, and 
with such success that it will be repeated. In many happy 
country homes the arrival of " the poor children from 
London " or elsewhere is coming to be looked for as cheer- 
fully as that of the swallows. 

For there are not many families who cannot do something 
in this direction. If not able to house them under their own 

3O Woman s Mission. 

roof, there is pretty sure to be a "somewhere" near at hand, 
where for a small payment the little town mice can be made 
welcome, and share in the kindly care of the cottage mother. 

This boarding-out in cottage homes is found to be the 
best and most practical mode of organizing the country visits 
on a large scale. The most important of our "Fresh Air for 
Poor Children " societies namely, the Children's Holiday 
Fund, works entirely on this system, and on the whole it 
answers admirably. Though started only eight years ago, it 
now numbers eight hundred country centres, at which, every 
summer, arrangements are made for receiving children. In 
1891, 25,613 small townsfolk were sent off for a fortnight's 
" fresh air," the expenditure of the society for that year being 
;i 6,037, exclusive of payments from the parents, amount- 
ing to about a third of that sum. For one of the best 
features of the association is that the fathers and mothers of 
the children who benefit by it are expected to pay according 
to their means. 

This society is not essentially a " women's work," but a 
very great part of the supervision and detail is managed by 
women. And some branch societies, working in connection 
with it and assisted by its grants, consist exclusively of 

Of these I may instance the Women's University Settle- 
ment, in Southwark, where a large amount of country holiday 
work is done every year. The past year saw seven hundred 
children sent off for their annual holiday under the auspices 
of this society, and great credit is due to the women workers 
of the settlement for the thoroughness with which this 
department of their manifold charities is managed. The 
circumstances of the children selected, their real need of 
assistance, the proportion which the parents can pay, the 
children's physical state, as free from infectious diseases or 
other objectionable conditions all these difficult points are 
gone into with the most painstaking exactitude ; while on 
the other side the cottage homes are carefully chosen, the 
" country correspondents," or lady visitors who undertake the 
supervision of the little guests, so as to guard against such 
evils as overcrowding, insufficient feeding, etc., are well 
instructed as to what is their necessary part of the work, so 

For the Little Ones "Food, Fun, and Fresh Air." 31 

that the whole machinery may act as harmoniously as 
possible, and any hitch or source of danger be quickly 
detected and set right 

The North St. Pancras Children's Holiday Fund is 
another smaller society of the same kind which since its 
founding in August, 1 886, has done good and efficient work 
under its president, Lady Lamington, and the acting 
committee, composed chiefly of women. Its first year saw 
sixty children sent for a week to the seaside ; six years 
later the number sent, and that for a fortnight each, had 
mounted up to 360. The details of this society are on much 
the same lines as I have described ; every precaution against 
mistakes being taken, nothing being thought too trifling 
to consider where the children's welfare is in any way 

The Children's Fresh Air Mission, another society on 
similar lines, is more specially intended to benefit boys and 
girls belonging to the districts of Holborn, Clerkenwell, and 
St. Luke's. The management of this is greatly in the hands 
of women, and the same system of part payment by the 
parents, where such is possible, is adopted. Then there are 
ten small Holiday Homes in direct connection with the 
Ragged School Union, where again we find women to the 
front. And this society has also a fund for sending children 
for one day to the country ; excellent so far as it goes 
certainly " better than nothing." 

There is a small but admirably managed Seaside Home 
where twelve little girls at a time may spend a happy three 
weeks or month at Littlehampton. This is an entirely 
private charity belonging to the Sisterhood at St Peter's, 
Kilburn. Another home where (as well as their mothers) 
girls and little boys are received for a small payment, has 
been in existence for some years at Petersfield, Hants. This 
also is a thoroughly private charity, belonging to the Hon. 
Mrs. Bonham Carter. It is known as the " Street Cottage 
Home." Among Lady Ashburton's Homes of Rest at 
Addiscombe is one for children boys and girls alternately 
where for a fortnight at a time they may enjoy and benefit 
by the country air. 

Then there is the Cottage Home at Totteridge, Hertford- 

Woman s Mission. 

shire, where any poor London child in want of " country air 
and nourishing food," if passed as in no need of quarantine, 
is considered eligible for admission in its turn. This home 
is altogether a " women's work," as is another on very similar 
lines near Twyford, Berkshire, which is known by the pretty 
and attractive name of " The Buttercups," under the manage- 
ment of its foundress Miss Whitaker. Another home in the 
same neighbourhood, superintended by two sisters, the Misses 
Beale, is perhaps rather more of a convalescent than a 
holiday home. But in many cases no very hard and fast 
line is drawn between convalescence and need of country air, 
though it makes the selection of holiday homes for notice 
somewhat perplexing. 

As is the case in the other charities we have been con- 
sidering, we find in these country holiday schemes, Jewish 
ladies very much to the fore. They are both most liberal 
with their time, trouble, and money for work of general 
benefit, and most conscientious in providing for the little 
ones of their own community. Four hundred and fifty 
Jewish children are sent yearly to the holiday homes they 
have established at Neasden, Waltham Abbey, etc., and in 
many country houses belonging to wealthy Jewish families 
the children of their poorer brethren are received regularly 
every summer. 

Another centre of this special good work that of the 
Children's Holiday Fund for Marylebone has only been 
brought to my notice since writing the foregoing pages. 
This society founded in 1883 by the Misses Brooke, 
daughters of Mr. Stopford Brooke, and managed, I believe, 
entirely by themselves and their girl friends though not one 
of the largest, is yet now a very important one, as can be 
seen by the increase of its figures both as to income and as 
to the number of little people benefited. The first year 
saw 187 children despatched to the country; in 1891 these 
figures had increased to 1298, while the income for this same 
year amounted to 105 2. The working of this society is 
excellent ; everything is gone into with the most scrupulous 
care, and it is found possible to extend the holiday time for 
each child to three instead of the ordinary two weeks, at no 
greater cost than in other cases is expended on the shorter 

For the Little Ones "Food, Fun, and Fresh Air'' 33 

period. " Rocks ahead," in the shape of the charity being dis- 
. honestly taken advantage of by those who do not need it ; of 
untrustworthy " foster parents " as they may be called for the 
time, or unmanageable naughtiness, or other distinct disqualifi- 
cations on the part of the young guests, seem to have been 
avoided by this bright little society with marvellous dexterity ; 
thanks in this case most certainly to "good management," 
rather than " good luck " ! I should attribute this marked 
success in very great measure to the strong personal element 
in the organization ; an element of which the advantage is 
so realized by the ladies who manage it, that in 1891, feeling 
that the growth of the society was tending to the loss or 
lessening of this personal feeling, that it was becoming too 
much "a matter of business," to use their secretary's own 
words, and that the original close acquaintance with their 
little protigh and their families could not be maintained as 
it had been, " decentralization," to use a very big word, was 
unselfishly decided upon. The central society was reduced 
by the formation of a dozen or more smaller ones, whiclv 
though supported to a certain extent by the parent one, are 
yet responsible for their own work, subject only to a few 
broad regulations. 

This is the real spirit in which such work should be con- 
ducted ; not that of self-aggrandizement or love of power, 
but of honest readiness to consider first of all the good of 
those to be benefited. And one of the side issues, the 
delightful flowers to be culled from this eminently pretty and 
most lovable charity, is the bringing together the workers 
and the worked for. Long before the holiday season begins 
these young ladies are going in and out among the homes of 
their "holiday children," or looking up new ones hearing 
in the former case all that has happened since last year, or 
bringing smiles to the little white faces to whom as yet 
such things are but words, by the promise for them too of 
" meadows filled with happy flowers," or " woods where the 
wild birds sing." 

"The starting day," writes Miss Honor Brooke, " is great 
fun for parents, children, and workers ; we fly from station- 
to station, sometimes ourselves accompanying large batches 
to their destination" and no praise can be too high for 


34 Woman 's Mission. 

" the loving attention given to their guests by the " (carefully 
chosen) "country fathers and mothers," nor to the clergymen 
and ladies of the various villages where they are sent, for 
their thorough superintendence." 

Yes the fresh-air-for-the-little-ones movement is a de- 
lightful charity, one whose beautiful results are not far to 
seek. Well may 

" The all-beholding sun 
Laugh with joy to see the sight," 


* f Sunken eyes with darkness dun 
Fill and shine with jollity," 

when the little town sparrows learn to 

" Hail with all the birds the morn, 
Race and laugh the live-long day ; 

And at even, tired with mirth, 
Rest, and sleeping, dream of play." 

There is much to cheer and encourage in even this frag- 
mentary and superficial review of these three departments 
of charitable work among children, which we have been 
considering. For the few I have named give but a feeble 
idea of the many others on more or less the same lines which 
exist throughout the whole country, and of which those in or 
near the metropolis may be taken as typical. It is cheering 
to see how much has been done ; it is encouraging and in- 
spiriting to feel how much more may be done especially 
in the directions of brightening our poor children's lives by 
happy evenings at home and happy days in the country. 
Modestly and unobtrusively, at comparatively small cost and 
in many cases by private effort alone, this kindly work can 
be successfully carried on. There are few, if any, of our 
upper or middle-class families who cannot do something' in 
this direction. It is above all and essentially a work for 
women ; a beautiful work ; one of those of which the good 
results are not far to seek. It is no case of waiting till "after 
many days ; " for surely in the merry voices, the brightening 
eyes and rosier cheeks of the children, the loving hearts who 
care for them find an ample and sure reward. 



IN mediaeval days, many cunningly devised arrangements 
were in force for reclaiming the lost, and bringing back into 
the narrow path those who had strayed. In modern times, 
however, it is held to be safer, wiser, more humane, to guide 
than to rescue. Latter-day philanthrophy is essentially pre- 
ventive in character. The problem it sets itself to solve is, 
how are the young to be kept from falling ? When once 
they are down, trying to raise them is heart-breaking work at 
best. Thus the warding-off of evil is the chief aim of our 
most important benevolent undertakings, especially of those 
organized for securing the welfare of young girls. It is 
difficult to realize the full extent of the work which is now 
being done in the United Kingdom to keep girls out of 
harm's way. Institutions for their benefit may be counted 
by the hundreds ; time and money alike are devoted to their 
service without stint. There is not a town, hardly a village, 
but women are on the watch there to shield from danger the 
unstable, and make rough places smooth for the weak. All 
ranks and all creeds are at one in striving to lighten the 
burdens of our girl-toilers, and bring into their lives bright- 
ness and hope. 

Amongst the numberless societies for helping and pro- 
tecting girls, the Metropolitan Association for Befriending 
Young Servants holds a prominent position. The circum- 
stances under which it was founded give a special interest to 
this society. Some twenty years ago, our London Poor-Law 
guardians were brought face to face with an unpleasant fact. 

36 Woman s Mission. 

The majority of the girls for whose training they were re- 
sponsible turned out worse than the veriest little street 
wanderers ; and " she who is born in a workhouse always 
returns there to die," had become quite a proverb. Some- 
thing must be done, it was felt, to put an end to this state 
of things; and, as the guardians did not know what, they 
appealed to Mrs. Nassau Senior for advice. " It is mothering 
the girls want," she told them emphatically. Now " mother- 
ing " is a work they could hardly undertake they were all 
men in those days ; they therefore commissioned Mrs. Senior 
to do it for them. Up to this time " workhouse " girls had 
been sent out into the world at fourteen years of age, and 
then left to sink or float as best they could. Mrs. Senior 
speedily put an end to this arrangement. Having secured 
the co-operation of a number of ladies, she organized the Metro- 
politan Association for Befriending Young Servants, every 
member of which undertakes to act as friend, adviser, mother 
in fact, to girls trained in workhouses. During the last twenty 
years the association has extended its operations in the most 
marvellous fashion ; and it now acts as general protector to 
all the servants in London between the ages of thirteen and 
twenty. It consists of a central committee, thirty-two dis- 
trict committees, and visitors ; in all some eleven hundred 
ladies. The central committee has under its surveillance 
thirty-two free registries, seven training homes, a conva- 
lescent home, and thirteen servants' lodging-homes. It is 
responsible to the guardians for the management of the 
institution, and has full control of its expenditure. Its modus 
agendi is very simple. When a girl leaves the workhouse 
for service, she is placed by the guardians under the care of 
the central committee, which undertakes to watch over her 
and report to them at intervals as to what she is doing. The 
central committee passes her on to the committee for the 
district in which she lives ; and this committee, in its turn, 
hands her over to a lady-visitor, who is specially told off to 
take care of her. 

The office of a visitor is no sinecure ; the success of the 
whole scheme depends, in a great measure, on her kindliness 
and tact. As soon as she receives a girl's address, she must 
pay her mistress a visit ; and if she finds the situation un- 

Women's Work for the Welfare of Girls. 37 

suitable for her charge, she must report the fact to the com- 
mittee, which will, if necessary, receive the girl into one of its 
lodging-homes until another place can be found for her. It 
often happens that these fourteen-year-old servants cannot 
do their work, through sheer ignorance. In a workhouse 
there is little opportunity of seeing how things should be 
done ; and children brought up in batches are always lacking 
in initiative. In such cases, it is the duty of their visitor to 
arrange for them to be sent to a training-home, where they 
clean, wash, cook, etc., under the direction of a skilful house- 
wife, who fits them, so far as in them lies, to be efficient ser- 
vants. If one of her charges be ill, the visitor must see that 
she is properly taken care of. No matter how often a girl 
may lose her place, a fresh one must be found for her ; for 
a visitor may not pick and choose amongst her prottgfas, but 
must do her best for good and bad alike. It stands on record 
that one girl, in one year, was provided with seventeen 
situations. She has since developed into quite a useful 
member of society. 

In addition to these her definite duties, a visitor has others 
of a more delicate nature. It must not be forgotten that she 
has no legal right to interfere with the movements of these 
young women, and that many of them keenly resent any- 
thing that savours of dictation. Her only chance of in- 
fluencing them, therefore, lies in convincing them that she 
regards them as friends ; and does for them what she does 
through personal affection. This is often no easy task, and 
it speaks volumes in praise of the association that its mem- 
bers should so rarely fail in winning the confidence of those 
whom they strive to help. Many ladies introduce a little 
variety into the lives of their protegees by arranging for them, 
when they have a holiday, some expedition ; or by taking 
them to a place of amusement. They invite them to tea 
from time to time, lend them books, and find for them some 
girls' club where they can pass their " evenings out." These 
are trifles, of course, but trifles which go far towards winning 
girls' love. Some visitors make a point of going with their 
charges when on shopping bent. The uninitiated can form 
no idea of the value of the service they thus render. The 
souls of servant-maids hanker sorely after feathers and flowers; 

38 Woman s Mission. 

and their love of gorgeous colouring is quite Oriental. If no 
judicious friend be at hand when they buy their clothes, they 
are sure to let their fancy run riot ; and, at one fell swoop, 
waste their money and bring down on their heads the wrath 
of their mistresses. A visitor, though, if she be equal to her 
work, can easily make them see the wisdom of choosing gowns 
of some more sober hue than Rob Roy tartan. The most 
difficult, however, of all the duties that fall to her lot is that of 
dealing with the " followers " of her charges. Never do girls 
stand more in need of " mothering " than when their thoughts 
begin to turn to love. Then a little friendly interest, the 
expression of a wish to see the chosen one, a few cautiously 
worded inquiries as to his character and means, may make 
all the difference in life to a young woman's future. 

The association is managed in the most businesslike 
fashion ; and rigid economy is practised in every department. 
In 1891, its working expenses amounted to ,-7484 is. id. ; 
and the number of girls whom it befriended to 13,398. 
Already it has wrought a wonderful change amongst servants 
of the poorer class. When, in 1873, the guardians appealed 
to Mrs. Senior for help, not 16 per cent, of workhouse girls 
could be reported later in life as doing well. At the present 
time, 90 per cent, of them turn out satisfactorily. And of 
the 10 per cent who prove failures, the majority are feeble- 
minded, a class most difficult to deal with. The Metropolitan 
Association for Befriending Young Servants is now trying 
an experiment for their benefit. It has just opened a home 
where girls deficient in intellect, will, whilst learning to earn 
their own livelihood, be carefully guarded from the dangers to 
which they are exposed elsewhere. The association restricts 
its operations to London ; but throughout England and Scot- 
land there are societies working on the same lines, notably 
in Bristol, a city always honourably distinguished in good 

The work of the Young Women's Christian Association 
lies amongst a class of girls who, though socially better placed 
than servants, often stand as sorely in need of a helping hand. 
Year by year hundreds of girls drift up to London to serve 
in shops, or engage in some kind of business. As often as 

Women s Work for the Welfare of Girls. 39 

not they have no friends in town, no place to go to, when 
their work is done, but their one poor little room, a most com- 
fortless and expensive refuge. The late Lady Kinnaird was 
so touched by the loneliness and the joylessness of the lives 
many of these girls lead, that in 1856 she opened a home for 
them near Fitzroy Square. The inmates lived together as 
one family, and infinite trouble was taken to make the place 
as bright and cheerful as possible. The first home proved 
such a decided success that others were started. Lady Kin- 
naird's institution gradually developed until, under the name 
of the Young Women's Christian Association, it has become 
quite a power in the land. It is now well to the fore in every 
department of work for girls. It has established branches in 
all quarters of the globe, in Russia, in Hungary, in Japan ; 
and it stands in close relations with the sister-society in 
America. Thus no matter where one of its 100,000 mem- 
bers may go, she is sure of a welcome ; friends have been 
secured for her in advance. 

The London branch of this society has now some 17,000 
members on its roll. It owns 142 institutions of one sort 
or another, including nineteen lodging-homes for girls. No 
country member accepts a situation in London until its cha- 
racter has been inquired into by the society. If it prove 
satisfactory, the girl is put in communication with a district 
secretary, who meets her at the station when she arrives, 
installs her in lodgings, and generally looks after her. All 
the members are invited to pass their leisure time at one of 
the society's institutes, where, in a comfortable pretty room, 
they may read, write, or chat with others of their kind. If 
their tastes incline toward self-improvement, there are classes 
of all sorts, at nominal fees, which they may join. Arith- 
metic, book-keeping, type-writing, drawing, singing, and 
dressmaking, are amongst the subjects taught ; and attached 
to some institutes are gymnasia. Lectures and concerts, too, 
are given there from time to time. The society is essentially 
religious in tone, and makes great efforts to bring its mem- 
bers together on Sundays for instruction and social teas. If 
a girl be ill, she is nursed in one of the society's homes ; if 
she need rest, a holiday is arranged for her. When she wishes 
to change her situation, there is a special secretary to give 

4O Woman s Mission. 

her advice, and an agency to put her in the way of finding 
work. If she have a fancy for roving, cither the continental 
or the colonial department takes charge of her; and if she have, 
as sometimes happens, a vocation for missionary work, she 
is sent to the society's Training Home. And for all that is 
done for her, she contributes one shilling a year towards the 
expenses of the society. Little wonder the London branch 
finds difficulty in making both ends meet ; the marvel is that 
in so many districts the work should be self-supporting. 

In connection with this association, the Travellers' Aid 
Society is doing a peculiarly useful work in a very unobtru- 
sive fashion. There is a certain class of girls who lose their 
heads the moment they enter a railway station. One of them 
was found the other day standing by a train, without the 
most remotest idea as to where she wished to go. Directions 
and advice are wasted upon them ; the only thing to be done 
is to put them and their luggage into a carriage, and then, 
when they arrive at their destination, take them out again. 
This is what the Travellers' Aid Society undertakes to do. 
It will, if asked, meet any girl who is travelling alone, and 
see her safe on her way. It has also agents near all the chief 
railway stations, to whom belated travellers, providing they 
be girls, may apply for a night's lodging. 

The Girls' Friendly Society is rather a guild of mutual 
aid than a charitable institution in the ordinary meaning of 
the term. Its motto is "Bear ye one another's burdens;" 
and the lesson it seeks to impress on its members is, that 
they should be as ready to give help as to receive it. The 
society was founded in 1875, by Mrs. Townsend, for the 
purpose of uniting in one great fellowship women and girls 
of all ranks. The associates are as a rule ladies of culture : 
the members are of all sorts, from trained teachers to work- 
house helps ; for the only condition the society imposes on 
those who join it, is that they shall be of good character, and 
be striving to do their work in life honestly. Each associate 
undertakes to help a certain number of members by all the 
means in her power, but especially by treating them as 
personal friends. The members in their turn arc bound to 

Women s Work for the Welfare of Girls. 4 1 

act as friends to each other. This idea of universal friend- 
liness underlies the whole work of the society. It is the 
lever by which it is sought at once to raise the moral 
standard of girls and young women, and shield them from 

The organization of the Girls' Friendly Society is some- 
thing of which women may well be proud ; it is necessarily 
so complex, and yet it works so smoothly. England and 
Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Colonies, America, and North 
Central Europe, have each a separate autonomous society, 
the only connecting link amongst them being the Central 
Council in London. They all, however, obey the same laws, 
strive for the same objects, and each grants the members of 
its sister societies the same privileges as its own enjoy. The 
English society stands in close relations to the Established 
Church, of which it is a powerful auxiliary. It has now 1126 
branches, each of which includes at least one parish. The 
secretaries of all the branches in a diocese form a diocesan 
council ; the presidents of the diocesan councils, together 
with the colonial and foreign presidents, the heads of depart- 
ments, and ten elected members, form the Central Council. 
This Council is responsible for the management of the society. 
The work is divided into ten departments, each with its own 
honorary officials. The first department devotes itself to 
promoting the interests of the better educated of the members, 
such as teachers. The second takes charge of those who 
work in factories ; the third, of those who are servants ; the 
fourth, of those who have been brought up in workhouses. 
Then there is a department which manages the free registries 
the society has established in all parts of the kingdom ; 
another which looks after the lodges, recreation -rooms, and 
lodging-homes ; another, again, which gives aid to those who 
wish to emigrate. The eighth is responsible for the schools 
and homes in which the members may receive industrial 
training ; the ninth undertakes to provide, by means of circu- 
lating libraries and magazines, all classes with cheap and 
wholesome literature. The department, however, which takes 
charge of the members when they are ill, is the one doing, 
perhaps, the best work of all. It has established, throughout 
the country, homes in which the weary and weak are nursed 

42 Woman s Mission. 

back to cheerfulness and health. Last year 3853 members 
received help, of one sort or another, through this de- 
partment. The society is practically self-supporting, each 
member contributing one shilling a year, and each associate 
two and sixpence, towards its working expenses. In 
1891, the expenditure of the central office amounted to 
3454 Ss. $d. 

In Scotland the society is making very rapid progress, 
and is striking out new lines of work for itself, especially with 
regard to the temperance movement. In Ireland, too, it is 
doing good and much-needed work. In England, Ireland, 
and Scotland together the society has now on its rolls 
165,908 members, 33,657 associates, and 38,492 candidates. 
Thus it has succeeded in bringing into friendly intercourse, 
for mutual aid and sympathy, some 238,057 women and girls. 

The Ladies' Association for the Care of Friendless Girls 
differs from the two societies with which we have last dealt 
in that, whilst they insist upon unblemished reputation as a 
sine qud non of membership, it devotes itself with special zeal 
to helping those upon whom the world is somewhat inclined 
to look askance. It owes its origin to a sort of crusade on 
behalf of the young which Miss Ellice Hopkins carried on for 
some years. She travelled about from town to town trying 
to arouse active sympathy for girls. The direct outcome of 
her appeals was that, in many towns, ladies banded them- 
selves together to take care of the friendless. There are now 
one hundred and twenty of these associations, all perfectly 
autonomous, all working out their salvation in their own way. 
The advantage of this arrangement is that an association 
can adapt itself to the special needs of its own district. Thus 
some devote themselves to temperance work ; others to 
educational ; others, again, to warding off starvation from 
their charges. They all unite, however, in trying to remove 
girls from dangerous surroundings, and putting them in the 
way of earning an honest livelihood. The members regularly 
visit workshops, lodging-houses of the worst kind, police- 
courts, all the places in fact where there is a chance of coming 
across young lives in danger of shipwreck. These ladies 
have proved themselves doughty champions, and have waged 

Women's Work for the Welfare of Girls. 43 

ruthless warfare against unjust employers and drunken 
vicious parents. Many are the girls they have rescued from 
"sweating dens ;" many, too, from home surroundings just as 
degrading. They have industrial schools and refuges in 
which they place their protigtes until some of the taint of 
evil example can be eradicated. Here they are carefully 
trained and then provided with employment. There are 
to-day in our Colonies numbers of young women leading 
happy useful lives, who owe their rescue from the very Slough 
of Despond to the efforts of the Ladies' Association. 

In addition to these four great societies, every religious 
community has its own organizations for helping girls. The 
Church of England has sixteen sisterhoods, all of which, with 
the deaconesses at their head, devote themselves more or 
less to this work. The Roman Catholics are particularly 
rich in homes and refuges. The Presbyterians have formed 
Bands of Promise, Guilds, and Clubs, that they may the more 
effectually watch over their girls ; and the Wesleyan Metho- 
dists have established for theirs the Order of the Sisters of 
the People. These Sisters try to bring good influences to 
bear on the young women who live in the East End. They 
invite them to spend their evenings in the home ; and, by 
kindly hospitality and friendliness, strive to awaken amongst 
them a sense of decency and order. They teach them how 
to make and mend clothes, try to find employment for them, 
and admit those who are quite destitute into their refuge. 
Convinced that a woman's true vocation is that of a wife, the 
Sisters are now devising means for bringing their prot/gtes, 
under proper chaperonage, into friendly intercourse with 
suitable partis. Mrs. Bramwell Booth and Miss Meredith 
Browne are doing most valuable work, on similar lines, 
amongst factory girls. The Jews, too, show peculiar tender- 
ness and wisdom in the way they take care of the young. 
An English Jewess, until she is eighteen years old, is more 
or less under the surveillance of a committee of ladies, to 
whom she may apply at any time for advice or help. This 
committee feeds the hungry, clothes the needy, and sees that 
all who are willing to work are put in the way of employ- 
ment. The Jewish working guilds are a most useful insti- 

44 Woman s Mission. 

tution, and in the training-rooms in connection with them, 
girls have every opportunity of learning a lucrative calling. 
There are free evening classes, too, in which cooking, dress- 
making, singing, and, strange to say, elocution are taught. 
The Ladies' Committee manages two Homes for young 
Jewesses, and several Convalescent Homes. Every Sunday 
evening large tea-parties are given, in which ladies from the 
West End play the hostess to working girls down East. 
Concerts and other amusements are provided for them ; and, 
from time to time, Lady Rothschild invites them to a ball. 

Most of the Missions, as the St. George's Yard and the 
Latymer Road, have branches, managed by ladies, for helping 
girls ; others again, as the Theatrical and the Flower Girls' 
Missions, are chiefly for their benefit. The Flower Girls' 
Mission was started by a Clerkenwell workman named Groom, 
who, when little more than a boy, began to act as the special 
evangelist of the flower-sellers. Every morning by daybreak 
he was in the flower-market, advising and exhorting these 
girls, and acting as peace-maker among them. He opened 
a room for them to rest in when their work was done ; and 
persuaded ladies to help him to teach them, in the evening, 
to read, write, and sew, and generally civilize them. The life 
these girls lead is one of great hardship. They must tramp 
about in the street the whole day long, haunted, too, as often 
as not, by the knowledge that their chance of supper and a 
bed at night depends on their selling their flowers. At the 
best of times, even when trade is brisk, they are at the mercy 
of the veriest chance : a high wind, a sharp frost, or sudden 
heat, may any day destroy their whole stock-in-trade, and 
thus bring them face to face with starvation. In the hope of 
rendering the existence of the younger among them less 
precarious, the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, in 1879, founded 
her Flower Girls' Brigade. She enrolled the flower-sellers, 
between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, in a regular com- 
pany, and placed them under the special protection of the 
police. She arranged that, instead of wandering about the 
streets with their wares, they should have fixed stations where 
they could display them for sale without fear of molestation. 
Then, to give stability to their trade, the Baroness tried to 
induce ladies to purchase flowers of them on fixed days. 

Women s Work for the Welfare of Girls. 45 

This attempt to place their industry on a regular footing led 
to some curious experiences ; for the girls, although scrupu- 
lously honest as a rule, have a business code of their own. 
No arguments could convince them that their merchandise, 
when once sold, was no longer theirs, but the purchaser's. 
Thus, if one of them whilst en route to deliver flowers selected 
by some lady, with great care perhaps, had the chance of 
selling them at a higher price, she promptly did so, return- 
ing in triumph to head-quarters to claim praise for her 'cute- 
ness. It was no unusual thing for customers, who had ordered 
table decorations for some special occasion, to receive at the 
last moment, instead of their roses and lilies, a message to 
the effect that they couldn't have any flowers that night, but 
should have some real beauties the next morning ! That ladies 
should prefer having flowers one day rather than another, 
was quite incomprehensible to these naive little traders. 

The Brigade proved an inestimable benefit to those for 
whom it was instituted ; still, it soon became apparent that 
flower-selling, particularly during the winter, was too un- 
certain a calling to be quite suitable for young girls. The 
Baroness Burdett-Coutts, therefore, for the sake of providing 
her brigade with regular employment, started an artificial 
flower factory. Here, under careful training, many of the 
girls have developed quite a genius for their craft. Having 
passed all their days amongst natural flowers, they seem to 
know by instinct what to strive for in making artificial ones. 
They literally delight in their work, and lavish care and 
attention on the delicate trifles they manufacture. As all 
the girls, no matter how incapable, receive regular wages, the 
factory has been a somewhat costly experiment ; but it has 
proved a great success. The flowers made there are sent to 
all parts of the world ; some have even made their way to 
the World's Fair at Chicago. Attached to the factory is a 
home, where these little work-people are taught to clean, 
cook, and generally play the housewife. Such of them as 
show more taste for this work than for flower-making, are 
trained as servants, and provided with situations. Some 
eight hundred girls have already passed through the factory, 
and of these 95 per cent, are "doing well," i.e. are respectable 
women, earning an honest livelihood, and making the world 

46 Woman s Mission. 

the brighter and the better for their presence. The Brigade, 
the Flower Girls' Guild, and the Mission are now all united ; 
and the whole work is carried on under the superintendence 
of Mr. Groom. 

The flower-sellers, as other impecunious traders, derive 
no small benefit from the Emily Loan Fund, instituted by 
the late Lord Shaftesbury in memory of his wife. In winter, 
when flowers are scarce, the managers of the fund lend out 
to these girls potato-ovens, coffee-stalls, wheelbarrows, etc., 
together with some little stock-in-trade. The borrowers pay a 
weekly sum for the use of these things, which, in time, become 
their own property. Money too, from five shillings to twenty 
shillings, is advanced to those who, by some unexpected turn 
in Fortune's wheel, find themselves destitute. Trifling in 
amount as these loans are, they set on her feet many a poor 
girl, who is down, perhaps, through no fault of her own. 
Penniless, she can only drift to the workhouse or the river : 
with twenty shillings in hand, she is a capitalist, endless pos- 
sibilities lying before her. These loans are regarded by 
lenders and borrowers alike as debts of honour, and are 
almost invariably repaid most punctiliously. The very 
roughest of our floating population would hoot the man or 
woman who ventured to defraud the Emily Loan Fund. 

The Homes for Working Girls, which are now to be found 
in all our great industrial centres, are most valuable insti- 
tutions. The inmates are provided with food and lodging 
at cost price, and a resident lady superintendent tries to 
make their lives pleasant. Then there are the Brabazon 
Homes of Rest for shop-girls, three hundred training homes 
for servants, and colonies of cottage homes, in all of which 
good work for girls is being done. A special interest is 
attached to St. Chad's Home, at Leeds, owing to the class 
of girls received there. They are the very waifs and strays 
of society, the deformed, the rough, the utterly forsaken, yet 
the great majority of them in the end turn out well. They 
are put through a regular course of training, and then, those 
who are suitable are sent to the colonies, whilst the rest 
remain at St. Chad's and work in the knitting factory. 

Benevolence, in its zeal for the welfare of girls, assumes 

Women's Work for the Welfare of Girls. 47 

divers forms. The National Housewifery Association, and 
the Guild of Aid to Home Duties, make great efforts to train 
them to be good housewives ; and an interesting experiment 
for the same purpose is being tried at Richmond. The most 
successful Housewifery School in the kingdom, however, is 
that established by Mrs. Elder at Govan. There some 
hundreds of girls, who during the day work in factories, 
are in the evening fitted for their future duties as mothers 
of families. They are taught the simple laws of hygiene, 
and are shown how to clean, wash, make clothes, and, above 
all, cook. Every Saturday evening, numbers of girls and 
women take the materials for their Sunday dinners to the 
school, and cook them under the supervision of a skilful 
teacher. All the things made are of the most inexpensive 
kind, depending for their value on careful seasoning and 
handling; for the object of the school is to teach how to 
provide palatable nutritious food at the least possible cost. 
What Mrs. Elder is doing for cookery, Lady Brooke does 
for needlework. In her village schools girls are trained to 
be the veriest Penelopes. As for the educational advantages 
within the reach of working girls, of these there is now 
neither end nor limit. A special society directs their technical 
training; whilst at women's colleges, mechanics' institutes, 
Polytechnics, continuation classes, extension lectures, and 
evening clubs, they are taught whatever they wish to learn, 
and practically for nothing. There are agencies at work to 
awake them to the importance of physical culture, and pro- 
vide them with gymnasia and swimming baths. Some devoted 
ladies correspond with girls ; others, in the hope of raising 
their taste, conduct them by twos and threes to picture- 
galleries and museums. Then the Society for the Protection 
of Women and Children guards them from injustice; whilst 
the Vigilance Society is always on the alert to bring down 
vengeance on those who do them harm. 

In spite, however, of all that is done, some girls "go 
wrong;" for human nature is the same in all ranks, and 
maids have just as keen a love of pleasure and fine clothes 
as their mistresses. To one a paltry little brooch proves an 
irresistible temptation ; to another, the chance of excitement ; 
whilst numbers fall through sheer ignorance of the realities 

48 Woman s Mission. 

of life. No work that women do is better worth doing than 
that of rescuing those who are at " the parting of the ways," or 
have taken perhaps a step to the left. First offenders, as 
they are called, stand terribly in need of womanly sympathy, 
womanly help. In England alone there are more than a 
hundred homes in which girls, convicted of a first offence, 
are given the chance of redeeming their characters. The 
best known of these is that established by Miss Neave, 
Elizabeth Fry's devoted fellow-worker. In the Trewint 
and the Princess Louise Industrial Homes, and many of the 
industrial schools, girls are taken charge of, whom, though 
criminal, magistrates are loth to send to prison. Miss Steer, 
too, has, in connection with her Bridge of Hope, homes for 
girls who are exposed to special danger owing to their 
surroundings. She has a most hopeful tale to tell of the 
way her protegees, when once removed from evil influences, 
turn instinctively to good. An admirable arrangement 
which has been in force for some years in Birmingham, is 
gradually being adopted in many of our large towns. A 
number of ladies appointed by the magistrates visit the 
prisons in turn every morning, and have private interviews 
with the women and girls who are to appear before the 
Bench. These ladies hear the prisoners' own account of 
the affair that has brought them into trouble ; accompany 
them into court ; urge in their favour any circonstances 
attenuantes which may exist; and, in the case of first 
offenders, often induce the magistrates to hand the girls over 
to their keeping rather than send them to prison. When 
this is done, they place their charges in training homes, 
where they are carefully prepared for a fresh start in life. 

In every part of the world much noble work of true 
benevolence is being done by women for the sake of their 
younger and poorer sisters ; but the need is great, and much 
still remains to be accomplished. There must be no resting 
on oars, in England or elsewhere, until life has been made for 
working girls as keenly interesting and as secure as pleasant, 
perhaps, it can never be as it now is for the daughters of 
the richer members of our community. How far we are 
to-day from this millenium, few realize but those whose work 
lies amongst the poor. 

( 49 ) 


THE establishment of Clubs for Working Girls is compara- 
tively a new idea, but it has been found so successful that 
the growth of these institutions in England has been quite 
enormous, and many thousands of girls are now brought 
under the influence of the various organizations that are 
established for Clubs and Evening Homes. They are not 
all worked in the same way, and the different societies have 
mostly endeavoured to reach different classes of working 
people. We may reckon that there are eight organizations 
at work for this purpose 

1. The clubs for working girls which are carried on with 
rules more or less similar to those of clubs for working men. 
These are open every evening, and have regular paid or 
unpaid officials connected with them. 

2. There are what are called Evening Homes for Girls. 
These are chiefly to be found in Nottingham, and have no 
regular superintendent; but ladies arrange to take charge of 
them on different evenings in the week. 

3. The lodges of the Girls' Friendly Society, an im- 
mense organization all over England, have been established 
in almost all large towns. These are open mostly every 
evening for the benefit of the girls who belong to the Girls' 
Friendly Society. 

4. The Young Women's Help Society, a very large 
organization which mainly benefits factory hands. 

5. The Young Women's Christian Association, which has 
branches not only in England but all over the world. 

6. The Recreative Evenings Association, founded for 


50 Woman's Mission. 

neighbourhoods where club-buildings cannot be had, and where 
the Board Schools are made use of. 

7. There is the Factory Helpers' Union, which endeavours 
to reach quite the lowest of factory workers. It is computed 
that this union has in London about four thousand girls under 
its supervision. 

8. Lastly, there are the numerous Parochial or Congre- 
gational Guilds of Girls, whose meetings may be but once or 
twice a week. These meetings bring the members of the 
church or chapel under the direct influence of ladies. 

Most of the clubs are worked by a paid superintendent, 
who is always present at the meetings, and is assisted by 
a committee of working girls. How a club is worked may 
be shown by explaining the organization of the Soho Club 
for Working Girls, which was the first established in England ; 
in 1880. Here there is a council of ladies and gentlemen, 
who meet from time to time to decide on matters respecting 
the management of the club, and to arrange for the girls' 
country holidays and country excursions, as well as for 
classes, teachers, and recreations. It is the duty of the 
superintendent to be present every evening to receive the fees 
of the members, and to take down the names of those attend- 
ing the class. On going into the club the members write their 
names in a book, from which the superintendent is able to 
know who has been present on any occasion, and how many 
attendances each has made. This record of attendance is 
much valued by the members, who like it to be known when 
they have been present in the club. The girls' committee 
is elected annually in December by ballot voting of all the 
members. Their duty is to see that the class-rooms are 
ready, and that the teachers are attended to ; and they also 
manage the refreshment bar, keeping an account of receipts 
and expenditure. They have monthly soirees to which mem- 
bers are allowed to bring their friends, and the committee 
have to provide refreshments and arrange for singing and 
dancing during the evening. They are also expected to 
receive and welcome new members, or ladies who may visit 
the club. The present superintendent became a member of 
the club when it was started thirteen years ago. She and the 
committee work well together, consulting upon any suggested 

Clubs for Working Girls. 5 1 

change that may be beneficial to the members. One of the 
yearly Christmas parties for the new and younger members 
is managed entirely by this committee, which is composed 
chiefly of the older members, to whom the young ones 
naturally look up. Wherever a girls' committee has been 
formed in a club it has always been found to work bene- 
ficially. The ladies of the council, in turn, take charge 
of the club for one month, looking through the books, 
visiting the homes of new members, and arranging for the 
soirees and musical evenings of their month of office. 

Classes are held in almost all the clubs, and by their good 
organization and the attendance of members the success of 
the club is best shown. The members soon weary of amuse- 
ments only ; it is the classes which give interest and life 
to the club. The favourite is the singing class. At this 
there is generally a large attendance ; and the interest of the 
members is stimulated by a competition amongst the choirs 
of the London Girls' Club Union, held once a year at the 
Inner Temple Hall, when a cantata is sung by all the choirs, 
each also singing a competitive piece. At the close of the 
competition the choirs are ranked according to their merit, 
and the first on the list receives a challenge picture which 
is held for one year. 

Another class much liked is that for musical drill. This 
has a very beneficial effect upon the rougher girls, as it teaches 
them punctuality, discipline, and order. In this also there 
is an annual competition, and a challenge shield is given to 
the successful club. . 

Dressmaking, plain needlework, cutting-out, art needle- 
work, are all much cared for. Specimens of some art needle- 
work done in the Soho Club have, by the kindness of the 
Baroness Burdett-Coutts, been sent to Chicago. Of these 
a banner has been embroidered by a girl who works at Cross 
and Black well's factory, and who never used her needle after 
she left school until she joined the class. This piece of 
work will show the proficiency which may be reached by 
factory hands under good instructors. Almost all the teachers 
of the classes are voluntary. Many of them may be trained 
teachers, but they give their spare time in this way to help 
the poorer girls. Cooking is a very favourite class, and much 

52 Woman 's Mission. 

valued by those who are thinking of making a home for 

Evening schools are established in many clubs, but the 
necessity for them has diminished since Board schools have 
had the power of compelling attendance ; and the girls have 
mostly reached the higher standards before joining the clubs. 
The more advanced classes are not much cared for, unless 
the teacher be one who will make a study so interesting that 
it cannot fail to attract. In the Soho Club we have had 
classes in English literature, English history, and the story 
of Greek heroines ; they have been very much appreciated, 
and have greatly promoted the culture of working girls, while 
adding to their interest in and enjoyment of life. 

The amusements of the clubs differ according to the ideas 
of the different managers. In some cases dancing is not 
allowed, and the recreation will consist of games and singing. 
In the Soho Club dancing has always been considered very 
beneficial to the members, and Friday evening is devoted to 
that amusement. Concerts and little dramatic performances 
are often arranged, and we hear of bazaars and sales being 
got up by the members themselves. To a great extent, how- 
ever, the recreative enjoyment simply consists in the meeting 
of friends in a well-lighted room, where rest can be had 
amidst pleasant surroundings after the long hours of work. 
Different games are always going on, bagatelle, reversi, 
draughts, halma, and "happy families." 

Their country excursions, or country holidays, are the club 
girls' greatest pleasure. The trips to the country are chiefly 
on the Bank holidays, at Easter, Whitsuntide, and in August, 
when almost all clubs arrange to take their girls out and give 
them a pleasant and wholesome day away from the smoke 
and noise of the town. Better still is it when the girls can 
have their one, two, or three weeks' holiday in the autumn. 
Some few clubs have homes to which they send their girls ; 
but generally the girls are distributed in parties of two or 
three in different parts of England it may be in homes of 
rest arranged for this purpose, or in cottages and farmhouses 
where the inmates are willing to receive lodgers at that time. 
Many of our girls in Soho can recall enchanting visits to the 
friends of the club some as far away as the mountains in 

Clubs for Working Girls. 53 

Cumberland. These visits to country houses, so happy while 
they lasted, have had a very beneficial influence in our club. 
On two occasions, sixteen of our members, with one of the 
ladies, have been invited to spend three days in a country 
house ; at other times some have gone with a lady for three 
days or a week to the seaside, and their enjoyment of the 
freedom and the beauty of Nature is delightful to witness. 
There are many work-girls who get no holiday in the year 
except the Bank holidays ; for them, visits are arranged 
from the Saturday afternoon to the Monday evening. Some 
ladies invite a few girls for a Saturday afternoon tea-party, 
which is a great enjoyment, and a great rest, to our often over- 
worked dressmakers and milliners in the height of the season. 

In most clubs it has not been found easy to amalgamate 
the great variety of classes into which working people are 
divided ; and therefore different organizations have been 
formed to reach the dressmaker, the shop-assistant, and the 
factory hand. But the difficulty can be surmounted. In the 
Soho Club, which numbers about two hundred members, 
their occupations are extremely varied. The two exhibits 
sent to Chicago will show that side by side are sitting in 
the art needlework class, the factory hand and the clerk 
who, with the education and birth of a lady, has, through 
adverse circumstances, been glad to make her home amongst 
working girls. No difficulty has ever arisen on this score 
in the Soho Club. There has been a friendliness of feeling, 
a linking together by the love of the club, which have 
brought the members into cordial relations both in class- 
work and in their recreation. 

The finance of our different clubs is often a matter of 
difficulty, for none of the clubs can be called self-supporting. 
In some clubs the members pay no fees whatever ; some pay 
a penny a week ; and others two shillings a quarter, with 
a shilling entrance fee. Rents are very high in London ; 
and the number of members is never sufficient to meet the 
various expenses of rent, light, heating, and superintendence. 
We never aim at having very large clubs ; for in Polytechnics, 
where six or seven hundred young women and girls are con- 
gregated together, a great deal of that personal influence 
which arises from the acquaintance of ladies w ith individua 

54 Woman s Mission. 

girls must be lost. We are willing that girls should pass from 
the clubs to the Polytechnics, where they would get a higher 
education ; but we do not find them willing to change when 
they become attached to their club, however great may be 
the advantages offered to them in another institution. 

We have said that many thousands of girls belong to 
these various clubs, and we may add that many hundreds 
of ladies are engaged in carrying them on. Like the 
members of the clubs, the ladies are from all classes of 
society from those who have to earn their daily bread to 
those in the highest ranks of life. All are equally beloved 
by the girls, if they have in themselves that sympathy and 
heartiness which attracts one person to another. There is 
not much difficulty now in getting help for these clubs, for 
most girls in England, when they begin to take a serious 
view of life, consider that they have some duty to perform 
to others who are less fortunately placed. This feeling 
is encouraged in club members by getting them to take 
an interest in those who are poorer than themselves. In 
many clubs one evening in the week is set apart for working 
for some philanthropic object for an orphanage, for mission 
work, and so forth. 

In some clubs religious influences are brought more 
strongly to bear upon members than in others. The evenings 
begin and end with prayer, and there are Bible classes and 
special religious teaching. In other clubs the religious 
teaching has to be less doctrinal and more indirect ; the 
members of them including Roman Catholics, Nonconformists, 
Church of England girls, and sometimes Jewesses ; but the 
religion which underlies the life of many of the workers in 
the clubs is appreciated by the members, becomes part of 
their lives, and helps them to be an example to others. Some 
of the Soho girls helped to start a club in Spitalfields for the 
very lowest class girls whose homes are in the lodging- 
houses of Whitechapel. Others have visited the poor and 
worked for them ; and in one case we know of, some young 
women who took out the poorer girls on a Sunday, went in 
their everyday clothes, so as not to make too great a contrast 
between their dress and the dress of those they were looking 

Clubs for Working Girls. . 55 

The clubs are not only of educational advantage in 
cultivating the intellects of the girls, and in giving them 
technical training, but we find great improvement in their 
manners, in the higher aims their lives are directed to, and 
in the contentment they acquire. 

In a great many clubs a Snowdrop Band has been started 
by way of bringing before its members the beauty of purity 
of life, of which the snowdrop is an emblem. In one case, in 
a Manchester club, the girls in the Snowdrop Band promised 
never to attend the dramatic performances held in the tents 
and booths about the town, which were generally most 
prejudicial to morals. These Snowdrop Bands are mostly 
formed amongst the lower classes of girls. In the better and 
longer established clubs the morality of the members is such 
that those who know their lives, and the dangers that beset 
young women of their class in crowded towns, can but 
admire and respect it. 

Work amongst girls who are living on their daily wage 
has been growing rapidly, and we expect another ten years 
will see it established as a necessary obligation that every 
large town and district, if not every parish, shall have its 
club for girls as well as institutions for boys and men. 

56 Woman's Mission. 


THE question of how to manage successfully a Young Men's 
Club is perhaps one of the most difficult that presents itself 
to philanthropic workers. No one living in a town, be it 
great or small, can be blind to the great need and enormous 
importance of these institutions, and yet how seldom do we 
find one that really answers, and makes its influence a living 
power. In many cases the club fails for lack of funds, or of 
suitable workers ; in other cases it degenerates into a clique, 
or boys of fifteen and sixteen are admitted, and drive out the 
older members ; but, generally speaking, I believe the reason 
of failure is that we have not taken pains to grasp the real 
needs of our young working men. We have too often thought 
it enough to provide them with a room, games and books, 
and then have been surprised to find that when the first 
novelty had worn off they rather slipped through our fingers 
and drifted away. Some years' experience has convinced me 
that a club, which would really fulfil its mission, must be to 
our young working men, what a public school or college is 
to boys of another class, something which inspires them with 
pride and affection, which teaches them to sink the individual 
in the community, and gives them an esprit de corps, that 
foundation of so many manly and gentlemanly qualities. 

* Miss Florence Nightingale, in "forwarding me this paper, which I asked her 
kindly to obtain, writes: "Miss Brooke-Hunt has been singularly successful in 
her most difficult work. By her own personal influence (she is only twenty-three 
now) she has for several years kept these young men together and out of mischief 
till far in their twenties, and often after they have married, bringing back the 
black sheep even when they have been expelled from her club by their own 
fellows, whom she wisely institutes as officers." BURDETT-COUTTS. 

Clubs for Young Men. 57 

Think of the lot of a young working man ! Fancy a boy of 
twenty, with high spirits and love of fun, going through the 
dull routine of ten hours' work a day. He comes home at 
six, " cleans," and has his tea ; but his presence is not wanted 
in the house ; the children have to be put to bed, mother 
wants to tidy up, and father likes his pipe in peace, so off he 
goes " up street." We know what that means ; people soon 
get tired of walking up and down the street, and can we be 
surprised that when it is wet or cold, for instance, the boys 
throng into the brightly-lighted public-houses, or into the 
music halls, with their endless variety of attractions ? Youth 
craves for some sort of excitement, and takes whatever it can 
get, regardless of the consequences. And thus young men slip 
into loose habits and bad ways, and no one lays a restraining 
hand on their shoulder ; for it is a sad fact, that, even among 
the most respectable working people, the parents seem unable 
or unwilling to control the boys. "If we said anything to 
Bill, Miss, he'd take and go into lodgings, and we can't afford 
to lose his money," is a remark I often hear. Therefore 
"Bill" is left to himself, and the parents think themselves 
lucky, if after a few years he ends in nothing worse than 
a miserable and imprudent marriage. In the great majority 
of cases " Bill " does not want to go to the bad, and would 
not if some one could step in and put a higher interest and 
a nobler object in his way. To do this is the true mission 
of a Young Men's Club. It is to supply some hints as to how 
women can help in this work that I have been asked to write 
this paper, and as facts are more useful than theories, I 
purpose giving an account of an institution with which I 
have been connected for some years. 

I began in a very small way, with about half a dozen 
young men, varying in age from eighteen to twenty-four, who 
used to come to our house once a week for a night school. 
As winter approached we decided to start a football club in 
connection with the class, and this increased our members to 
twenty. We then gave ourselves the name of " The Gordon 
Club," as the fame of the hero of Khartoum was fresh in all 
our memories. For club colours we adopted the military 
scarlet mixed with black; and our members' cards were 
headed with the motto, " Look up, lift up." When the 

5 8 Woman s Mission. 

football season came to an end, we took up cricket with 
great enthusiasm. 

About this time I proposed starting a Bible class on 
Sunday afternoons, open to all members, though compulsory 
for none. The project was not very warmly taken up, but a 
few boys promised to attend regularly, and these brought so 
much influence to bear on the others, that the class gradually 
grew in size and importance, till at the present time it holds 
the most prominent position in the club, and in the hearts 
also of all the members, for when " old boys " come from a 
distance, they always try to arrange that their holiday shall 
embrace a Sunday, " So that we can have one afternoon in 
the old way, Miss." I cannot lay too much stress on the 
fact that attendance at the Bible class is quite voluntary, 
and that the members get no special advantages in the shape 
of marks, prizes, or treats. Every member in the club is 
treated alike, whether he attend class regularly or not. At 
the same time, we bring individual influence to bear on each 
member, to induce him to come for his own sake, because it 
will help him in his struggle to make his life higher and 
nobler. This is the feeling among the class. " It keeps me 
straight," a young fellow, who is set in the midst of many 
and great dangers, told me recently ; " I couldn't come down 
on a Sunday and sit in the midst of you all, if I wasn't 
trying to go right." The plan of our class is as follows : 
Members drop in between 3 and 3.15, which time we spend 
in general conversation. I read them a story from 3. 1 5 to 
3.30 ; not weak trash, but something really good, or some- 
times even a novel with a strong pure tone. At 3.30 I say 
the Collect, and give out the part of the Bible from which 
the lesson is taken, the verses being read together by the 
whole class. I feel the lesson is of the greatest importance, 
as with many of the boys it is the only time they are brought 
face to face with the great realities of life. Young working 
men have terrible temptations, and neither doctrines nor 
platitudes will send them out armed for the fight. The 
Bible lesson, therefore, if it is to help them, must touch their 
everyday working life. Our Bible lesson usually lasts till 
nearly 4.30, and we conclude the class with a Collect and one 
or two hymns. 

Clubs for Young Men. 59 

In giving this description of the Bible class, as it is now, 
I have rather diverged from the history of the club. I must 
therefore return to the second winter of our existence, which 
found us hard at work with a singing class and a debating 
society. The latter is certainly an educational power, but 
the management requires some tact, or ill feeling would be 
quickly roused,and debates would be finished out "with fists" 
a few days later. We excluded politics, and discussed such 
subjects as " Gambling," " Military Conscription," " The In- 
fluence of Penny Dreadfuls," and so on. Our football club, 
too, soon earned a great reputation thanks partly to our 
captain, a young working man who possessed great control 
over his team, and to whose tact and loyalty I owe a 
great deal. 

For the next year or two our club grew steadily. To the 
athletic branch we added a rowing club ; and as our only 
meeting-place was, and is still, my own sitting-room, I 
found it necessary to have some sort of class every night, so 
that each boy might have a chance. There may be advan- 
tages in a big hall or club-room where large numbers can 
assemble, but I will always look on the small classes which 
the size of our room necessitated as the very foundation of 
the club's success. A small class can be made friendly and 
conversational ; each individual boy can be known, his in- 
terest can be roused, and a personal friendship can be formed 
with him ; his shyness wears off, and if he get into trouble or 
difficulty he will naturally come and talk the matter over ; 
whereas in a big class discipline and formality become more 
necessary, and there is a wider gulf between teacher and 
pupil. I feel sure that no club can really succeed unless 
there is the tie of personal affection between the members 
and whoever is responsible for them, for it is this tie alone 
that can give to a club that feeling of loyalty, esprit de corps, 
and true co-operation, which practically means life in a 
corporate body. The power of this personal tie was very 
strongly illustrated the following year, when I was laid aside 
for ten months by a severe illness, and unable to do anything 
for the club, except see the boys separately now and then. 
Although they refused to have a substitute, and all the 
classes were therefore stopped, they kept the club together 

60 Woman's Mission. 

among themselves, and when I was once more able to be 
among them, we took up the threads exactly where we had 
left off. Only those long months of illness did make a 
difference ; for, as Kingsley truly says, " There is a latent 
chivalry, doubt it not, in the heart of each untutored being, 
only waiting for something to develop it into fulness." I 
wish I could find words to describe the gentleness and 
tenderness, the thought and consideration, "the reverence of 
strength for weakness," shown by those big, manly fellows. 
It quite altered the state of things in the club. Up till then 
I had taken care of the boys ; from henceforth they have 
taken entire charge of each other, and of me ! This has 
resulted in an organization so useful and so effective that I 
will describe it in detail. 

Six of the members who had been in the club for some 
years were promoted to the dignity of "officers," and were 
put in charge of a "company," varying in number from ten 
to fourteen. Each officer has an order book, which is brought 
to me every Saturday night, and returned to him on Sunday, 
filled up with all the notices for the week, and it is his duty 
to see that these are made known to every man in his com- 
pany. He has also to report illness, collect subscriptions, 
ascertain the wishes of his company on matters concerning 
the club, and, in the words of his commission, "by his 
example and influence maintain a high standard and good 
name among those for whom he is responsible." The officers 
remain for a few minutes each Sunday, to talk over club 
affairs, and we have meetings also at frequent intervals, as 
there is always much important business to settle. The 
admission of new members is left entirely in their hands, 
as a candidate has to be proposed and seconded by an 
officer, and two adverse votes, which are not given by ballot, 
blackball him. I find the officers very fair in this respect, 
their great idea being to exclude from the club any one who 
does not mean to put his whole interest into it. We certainly 
are jealous; it has to be "all in all, or not at all" with 
members of our club. " We'll have no half and halfers, Miss," 
they say. At the same time they equally object to "toffs," 
that is to say, young men who give themselves airs, dress up 
on Sunday, and are too grand to notice a mate in the streets. 

Clubs for Young Men. 6 1 

We resolutely keep the club for bond fide young working 
men, who want to look after themselves, and spend their 
spare time in something better than loafing. In the officers' 
hands is also the power of punishing, suspending, or ex- 
pelling a member, though I am thankful to say it is a power 
they seldom need to exercise. Of course, where a boy's 
influence is really bad, he must go for the sake of the others, 
and in the one or two instances where this has been neces- 
sary, I have tried to get the expelled members to make a 
fresh start in a fresh place. For such as these I believe the 
army is salvation, with its rigorous discipline, and the advan- 
tages it offers to young men who keep steady. 

It sometimes answers well to suspend a boy for a short 
time, and then put him on probation, but it must be done 
carefully, and so as not to rob him of his self-respect, or 
make him defiant. I always urge that 

"Earthly power is likest God's 
When mercy seasons justice," 

and the officers generally are willing to make allowances and 
forgive. Whatever their verdict may be, I always convey it 
to the boy in question, and such occasions give one a splendid 
opportunity of lending a helping hand. 

Such is the work of the officers, though I feel that I have 
not done justice to the tact and good feeling which they 
show, to the real interest they take in their "companies," 
and to the manner in which they realize their responsibilities. 
The little touch of rivalry between the companies is very 
healthy ; it prevents interest from flagging, develops a strong 
feeling of esprit de corps, and makes the officers feel that the 
reputation of the club lies in their hands. 

A general meeting is held every year, at which the officers 
are elected formally, though the real choice of them lies in 
my hands. As the club is non-parochial and quite private, 
we have no public subscriptions ; every member pays three 
shillings a year, and this goes towards the expenses of the 
cricket and football field. We have a Christy Minstrel 
troupe, which is a great amusement all through the winter, 
and it is also very profitable, as the members give concerts in 
the town and neighbouring villages, and we generally manage 
to clear a few pounds for club expenses. The wood-carving 

62 Woman s Mission. 

bids fair to become a great financial success. We do chip 
carving, which has the advantage of being easy, interesting, 
and cheap, and since the club took first prize at a large Arts 
and Crafts Exhibition we have had plenty of orders for work. 
Two of our officers, who are clever carvers, have undertaken 
to teach other classes ; one goes every week to a village near, 
and the other purposes trying what he can do with a gang of 
boys who live in the worst part of the town. This may be 
the beginning of a missionary work, and of a new phase in 
the history of the club. It speaks well for the boys that 
though they spend many of their spare hours in carving, 
they will not take any of the money, but hand all proceeds 
over to the club fund without reserve. This club fund, as 
well as a smaller fund of pennies collected on Sunday, they 
leave to me to spend exactly as I like, and are quite indignant 
if I want to show them a balance-sheet or account-book. As 
we have no rent to pay for a room, and as there are no 
expenses connected with refreshments or any such extras, 
the club does not cost very much, and I think from .30 to 
.40 covers everything, and includes such items as sending 
delicate boys to convalescent homes, or helping those who 
may be out of work over a bad time. We keep up a library, 
and generally manage to have a day's outing in the summer. 
The athletic clubs involve a good deal of trouble and 
expense, but in their way they are a most important part 
of the work. Young men must have some outlet for their 
spirits, and what is safer than cricket, football, or a row on 
the river? I am thankful now that as a child I was well 
drilled in every form of sport in which boys delight. Then 
I was apt to grumble at the tyranny of being made to field, 
bowl, or keep wicket through a hot afternoon, while my 
brother and his friends had their innings, or at having to 
stand shivering near the goal while they had all the excite- 
ment of working the football up and down the field ; but 
now I feel grateful to my oppressors! Being able to score 
for the boys at cricket, and keep the bowling analysis cor- 
rectly, to criticize the "passing," "wheeling," or "tackling" 
after a football match, and to find fault with the " feathering " 
and " form " of the crew, this has been one of the strongest 
links between us, while I feel sure that the influence of a 

Clubs for Young Men. 63 

lady on their games makes them play in as gentlemanly and 
honourable a manner as any Eton or Harrow team. Recrea- 
tion is a most important factor in the lives of our young 
men, and, therefore, though we must never raise it above its 
true value, we must, as Dean Church has argued, " carry into 
their hard lives something of what gladdens ours, something 
of that keen and high enjoyment, that discipline, refinement, 
and elevation of spirit, which is given to many of us in such 
overflowing measure." 

This then is a very brief account of what can be done 
with a number of young men, without great expense, and 
with no club house except a lady's sitting-room. I feel that 
it is essentially a lady's work. Only a woman can have the 
softening and refining influence on boys who have to struggle 
through the battle of life with terrible odds against them ; 
only a woman's voice can call out their chivalry ; only a 
woman's tact can restrain the passionate nature, encourage 
the wavering, guide the enthusiastic, raise the fallen ; only 
a woman can give them the strong, full sympathy for which 
human nature instinctively yearns. I can hardly sum up 
the qualifications for undertaking such work, for I believe it 
lies within the power of any woman who longs " to find her 
far heaven in near humanity," who feels that the "way to 
God is by the road of man ; " but to any who are about to 
undertake anything similar, I may offer a few words of advice. 
First, put your whole heart into your work. No club or class 
can answer which is just taken up as a fad and then dropped. 
It involves real work ; the sympathy and interest must not 
flag. Your earnestness will be reflected on the boys ; if they 
see your whole time and trouble is given up to them, they 
will not grudge you theirs in return ; in fact, they will un- 
consciously catch something of your enthusiasm, and, as we 
know, enthusiasm is one of the strongest motive powers. 
Secondly, I urge, trust the boys. It is very seldom you will 
find such trust misplaced. Let your boys see you expect 
something good of them, and they will not fail you ; show 
them that you believe them capable of heroism, and it will 
put them on their mettle. Try to know each boy individually, 
and so give each one exactly the help he wants. One cannot 
take too much trouble to grasp each boy's separate character : 

64 Woman's Mission. 

boys cannot be managed or influenced in a lump, any more 
than a number of people with different complaints can be 
cured by the same medicine. You cannot know a boy by 
just seeing him in class ; you must know his home, his cir- 
cumstances, his work, his friends, and his hobby ; you must 
see how he faces trouble, how he bears success, what his 
influence is, or where is the point through which he can best 
he influenced, for only thus can you really help him. And 
above all, if the boys leave the town, do not lose sight ot 
them. Lastly, do not get discouraged when things seem to 
go badly, as they often do. It is a great mistake to worry 
too much over trifles, or even over what seem at the time 
much more than trifles. It is wonderful to see how things 
are worked out 

" If only we bate not a jot of heart or hope, 
But steer right onward ! " 

My first experience of a boys' class was not a pleasant 
one, for on my going into a schoolroom in the worst part 
of the town, to see if I could do anything with a gang who 
were the terror of the place, they put out all the lights, 
and began singing, " Where is the ghost of John James 
Christopher Benjamin Binns?" However, they were really 
sorry afterwards, were persuaded to light the gas, and 
informed me, "They wouldn't have done it if they had 
known I was such a young lady, and that if I'd stick to 
them, they would behave like regular gentlemen " a promise 
they faithfully kept. I only say this to show that no state of 
things is really hopeless. As we gain experience we learn 
to look beyond the present, to realize that the best results 
are often the most gradual, and above all that " we do not 
move by ourselves, but are pushed by an Unseen Hand " 
that God leads men through strange ways and circumstances 
up to Himself. 



MAY I be allowed to express the value and importance we 
attach to this great opportunity of bringing forward and 
pleading for the work of the Mothers' Union before the 
Chicago Congress ? At the outset I will try to explain the 
reasons that led us to start such an organization. 

We live in a Christian country, we call ourselves Christians, 
and yet we are standing face to face with a state of rebellion 
and disobedience to our Master's commands, which baffles 
and confounds us. The rivers of immorality, intemperance, 
irreligion, and infidelity, are streaming over Christian lands, 
destroying thousands and thousands of fair young, lives, 
which, but for them, might be noble and beautiful. Immo- 
rality has increased tenfold in late years. Intemperance, 
which follows the other sin like a shadow, is troubling us on 
all sides, and bringing ruin into hearts and lives in spite of the 
vigorous efforts made to check it. Irreligion is gradually 
permeating the masses, and the religious observance of 
Sunday is becoming obliterated. It is the fashion of the day 
to sneer in a lofty manner at the old ways, and to cry up 
two panaceas for all the ills of life secular culture, and recrea- 
tion both most excellent as far as they go, but they will 
never touch the inner life which Christ searches and touches. 

In spite of all these evils, there never was a time when 
such religious enthusiasm prevailed, such zealous fighting for 
God and the right. Church people and other religionists are 
working hard. Men and women of all shades of opinion are 
spending their lives in doing good. Schools, societies, guilds, 
institutions abound. But still the tide of sin and misery rolls 


66 Womaris Mission. 

on. Where is the remedy ? How can we cut at the root of 
these Upas trees of evil ? We answer confidently, through 
the homes, the parents, and, above all, the mothers. 

There has been a tendency in all reformatory efforts to 
ignore the parents and the divine institution of home life. 
Most of the remedial efforts take children away from home 
and parents. Educationalists and philanthropists have prac- 
tically been saying to the poorer parents, " These are your 
children, it is true, but you are too ignorant, or too busy, or 
too wicked, to train them yourselves. We will do it for you ; " 
and in this way God's method of training His human crea- 
tures has been interfered with. Children train parents as 
much as parents train children. It is a double influence ; 
one acts on the other. 

It has come to pass that the poorer parents have in many 
cases lost all sense of responsibility, and shifted their duties 
on to the ministers of religion, schoolmasters, philanthropic 
people, and institutions. They say, " If we feed and clothe our 
children, and give them a home to live in, it is all that can 
be expected of us." Rich parents are also too often acting 
in exactly the same manner. They are busy with their 
interests and amusements, and the exigencies of society, and 
hand over to nurses and governesses, or to tutors and schools, 
the entire moral and religious training of their children. 
There is a memorable saying of Mirabeau " The education 
of a child should begin twenty-five years before his birth, in 
the education of the parents." We are not only confronted 
by neglect and irresponsibility in parents, but by the strange 
indifference with which little children are committed to the 
care and training, and even religious teaching, of incompetent 
nurses and governesses. No wonder that astonishment is 
expressed so often at the ignorance of the Bible and the 
truths of Christian faith in boys and girls of the upper classes, 
while children of poor parents are not unfrequently turned 
out of Board schools with little or no definite knowledge of 
God's laws, or how to keep them. The result of this neglect 
in all classes is disastrous. Education the forming of habits 
of mind and conduct which is the work of the home, is con- 
fused with instruction, or storing the mind with facts ; head 
teaching with heart teaching. It is a cruel wrong to equip 

The Responsibilities of Mothers. 67 

a child with intellectual culture, and leave him ignorant of 
the means of self-conquest. 

We have to lay solemnly to heart that the work of 
greatest importance to society is the training of children in 
Christian principles, and that the character of a child is formed 
during the first ten years of life in great measure by the 
influence of the home, and, above all, by the mother. It is 
a divine thing, this amazing power of a mother over her 
children. She stamps herself on them at an age when their 
minds are daily receiving indelible impressions, when the 
imitative faculty is at its highest development. " What is 
learnt in the cradle is carried to the grave." This is proved 
by history, biography, and our own universal observation. 
" Most good men have had good mothers." We read in 
Ezekiel xvi., " As is the mother, so is her daughter." Napo- 
leon said one day to Madame de Campan, " The old systems 
of education are worth nothing ; what is wanting in order 
that the youth of France be well educated ? " " Mothers," 
replied Madame de Campan. The reply struck the Emperor, 
and he said, " Be it your care to train up mothers who shall 
know how to educate their children." This remark touches 
the very object of the Mothers' Union. It contains the 
secret of a mighty reformation. 

If the supply of ignoble and ruined lives is to be stopped, 
it must be done by the careful training of children from the 
cradle. The germs of the passions they will have to contend 
with are in them already. Habits of obedience and self- 
control, therefore, must be formed gently and lovingly in 
early life. It has been wisely said, " If you are not master 
of a child by the time he is three years old, he will be your 
master." Young children must not be treated merely as 
pets, or else as troublesome encumbrances. The soul of a 
child must be trained to govern the body. " Take heed lest 
ye despise one of these little ones." Chivalry is innate in 
a boy, as modesty is in a girl. These instincts must be 
fostered and cultivated. The boy's first ideal woman is his 
mother, and, unless she fail to win his love and respect, he has 
a chivalrous devotion to her which will colour his whole life. 
Do not some of us know the truth of this from happy ex- 
perience ? If mothers will but seize the power God gives 

68 Woman s Mission. 

them, and guard the first springs of thought ; if they will 
give their children definite religious instruction by word and 
example, and rule them wisely, lovingly, methodically, and 
firmly in habits of obedience, self-control, purity, and truth, 
boys would less often develop into uncontrolled, lawless, 
unchivalrous men, and selfish husbands ; and girls would not 
grow into frivolous, vain, self-asserting, fast women. Homes 
would be happier ; the world would be raised, reformed, 

It was with these thoughts working in our minds that we 
started the "Mothers' Union" in the year 1876 in the Win- 
chester Diocese. The objects of the society are 

1. To uphold the sanctity of marriage (as the foundation 
of home-life). 

2. To awaken in mothers a sense of their great responsi- 
bility as mothers in the training of their boys and girls (the 
future fathers and mothers). 

3. To organize in every place a band of mothers who will 
unite in prayer, and seek by their own example to lead their 
families in purity and holiness of life. 

The principles upon which we build our work are these : 
That the prosperity of a nation depends upon the family life 
of the homes. That family life is the greatest institution in 
the world for the formation of character, and that out of it 
the nation grows. That religion is the indispensable foun- 
dation of family life. That parents are responsible for the 
character and morals of their children. That character is 
formed during the first ten years of life by the example and 
habits of the home. That example is stronger than precept, 
and parents, therefore, must be themselves what they wish 
their children to be. That the history of the world proves 
the divine power given by God to parents, and to mothers 
especially, because children are placed from infancy in a more 
intimate and closer relationship with the mother than with 
the father during the time when character is formed. That 
the training of children is a profession, and must be learnt 
like any other profession. 

The Mothers' Union includes all classes of mothers, from 
the highest to the humblest, whether educated or uneducated, 
rich or poor, inasmuch as the duties of mothers are the same 

The Responsibilities of Mothers. 69 

to a certain extent in every rank. We feel strongly that if 
mothers in the upper classes will lead the way by joining 
this movement, we may be able to win all sorts and con- 
ditions of mothers to see their responsibility. We need 
leaders ; and women in the highest ranks are taking their 
places in the van of the society. Over three thousand of 
these have thrown in their lot with us in the Winchester 
Diocese, and many have joined in other dioceses. We 
believe, from our wonderful success, and from the sympathy 
we have received, that there are few mothers in any position 
of life who are unwilling to join this movement. Union is 
strength ; united prayer is boundless strength. The Mothers' 
Union is above all things a union for prayer. 

It is the fashion of the day to combine for the carrying 
out of any great object, political, educational, or social. May 
we not, as mothers, combine and unite together, for the good 
of our homes and for the glory of God, to try to put a stop 
to the moral plague which abounds, and to undermine the 
kingdom of evil by laying, as far as we can, the foundation 
of strong principle and good habits in the hearts and lives of 
our children ? 

A card of membership is given to each mother who joins 
the society. On these cards are printed the prayer to be said 
(if possible) daily, and the rules of the Mothers' Union, which 
are to try to bring up the children in habits of obedience, 
truth, purity, and self-control ; to watch over their conversa- 
tion, companionship, and amusements ; to be careful as to the 
literature placed in their hands, the books and newspapers 
they read ; to inculcate temperance. We have a separate 
card for mothers of the higher classes. It is exactly on the 
same lines as the card for the poorer ones, but worded so as 
to meet their special responsibilities, and vice versa. On our 
cards we place the two Sacraments, not as part of the rules 
(there is no Sacramental test), but as the pillars of our work, 
and we have found them to be so. The one, the initial 
Sacrament of our faith ; the other, the strengthening ordinance 
of our spiritual life. They are placed before the eyes of the 
mothers to awaken attention and make them realize the 
sacredness of child-life, the consecration of body and soul in 
Holy Baptism, and the duty of teaching a child that his body 

7o Woman's Mission. 

is the temple of the Holy Ghost. Every member is asked 
to take in one of the two periodicals of the society. The 
Mothers' Union Journal, which has a sale of 37,000 copies 
a quarter, costs fourpence a year ; and Mothers in Council, 
edited by Miss Yonge, which is intended for the upper classes, 
is issued at sixpence a quarter. 

The society is worked by diocesan organizing committees, 
and a central fund for the circulation of information and the 
printing of the annual report. The payment of a diocesan 
secretary and other working expenses are met by the 
subscriptions of a shilling a year from members of the upper 
classes and associates, and occasional donations. The 
poorer members are not asked for any subscription. 

The Mothers' Union has spread with great rapidity ; 
twenty-eight English and three Welsh dioceses are working 
it in one way or other. In the Winchester Diocese there 
are 14,554 members and associates of all classes. It has 
been planted in Scotland, Ireland, India, Gibraltar, and in 
Tasmania, New Zealand, and other English colonies. 

We are receiving letters from many parts of the world 
and from all classes, testifying to the need of the Mothers' 
Union, the good work being done, and of lives and homes 
made better and happier. We should esteem it an honour 
if any of our American sisters would write to us and unite 
with us in this work. Their co-operation would be invaluable 
in spreading the society, and we should appreciate their 
sympathy and help most deeply. Is it too much to hope 
that some enthusiasm fo'r the Mothers' Union may be 
aroused, and that it may be recognized as one means of 
purifying the very source of a nation's life ? God has 
honoured mothers by entrusting to them the little infants 
from the moment of their entering on immortal life. God 
has given them the first word with the children. The nations 
of the future are now lying in their arms, and a wealth of 
love, tender and self-denying, but too often unthinking and 
irresponsible, is hovering over each unconscious infant. Can 
we not lay hands on this reserve force of love, and power, 
and influence, and win it for God ? Can we not try to 
persuade mothers of all classes to join us in this great home 
crusade, and stir them up to recognize the greatness of their 

The Responsibilities of Mothers. 71 

mission, the sacredness of child-life, the force of their own 
example, the terrible consequences of failure in their duty, the 
blessedness of success in the pure and blameless lives of noble 
sons and virtuous daughters, and the glorious reunion before 
the throne of God ? 

"Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me." 

7 - Woman! s Mission. 


THE majority of nineteenth-century Englishwomen are 
industrious, resourceful, unaffected, sensible, amusing, amiable ; 
they are good-looking, and charming companions ; but I do 
think that sometimes, when we are engrossed in our manifold 
public and semi-public occupations, which modern civilization 
almost demands, we are too apt to regard ourselves as wholly 
superior to the women of other ages ; and if not in words, 
certainly in thought, look upon the ladies, say, of the days of 
chivalry, as so many puppets throned by the fantastic spirit 
of the age as a mark for skill or bravery, and with no more 
claims to our respect than the silken banner of the joust 
where they adjudged the prizes to the victorious knights of 
old. We are all too ready to forget that the very banner for 
the joust was always worked by female fingers, and that 
many of the luxurious trappings of chivalry were the outcome 
of long hours of secluded leisure and female industry and 
ingenuity. Then ought not the delightful old tapestries 
which adorn the walls of the most ancient of our " stately 
homes of England" to remind us that ladies of the past, 
although they were not prominent in public affairs, did not 
waste their time, and that they were not by any means the 
nonentities we sometimes imagine them to have been ? As 
early as the eleventh century the women of England were so 
renowned for embroidery that it was called " English work," 
just as in ancient times it was " Phrygian work ; " and surely 
we have all read of Mathildis, an Englishwoman, distinguished 
for her skill for dyeing purple, and adorning robes with gold, 
gems, paintings, and flowers. So, you see, we are not so very 

Working Guilds and Work Societies. 73 

much more advanced in 1893, at least as regards needlework 
and artistic designs, than were the ladies of the eleventh 

In the following century, the reputation for needlework 
was well maintained, but the names of those skilled with the 
needle which come down to us from that epoch invariably 
belong to the aristocratic class. For instance, Christina 
Princess of Margate, who lived towards the end of the 
twelfth century, was so skilled in art needlework that a pair 
of sandals which she embroidered were declared to be perfect 
" wonders." The " wonders " were presented by the Abbot 
of St. Albans to the Pope of the day. 

In the fourteenth century we cannot by any stretch of 
imagination regard the women as puppets. The time is a 
most interesting one, and women stand out prominently as 
being the means of establishing industry upon the ruins of 
feudalism. Extravagance had beggared the knights ; pro- 
perty had changed hands ; skilled artificers were now in the 
ascendant ; and, oddly enough, the largest proportion of 
skilled workers happened to be women. Male artificers were 
tied down to the following of one profession only ; but the 
same law gave liberty to women to practise a variety of 
trades. Nor were they backward in availing themselves of 
the privileges denied to the men ; and an energetic female, 
with the butterfly propensities peculiar to her sex, and from 
sheer love of variety, could roam over every trade and 
remunerative occupation until she lighted upon one to her 
liking. The records of those days tell us of female brewers, 
bakers, weavers, spinners, embroiderers, and others employed 
in various works of linen, wool, and silk. But the female 
artificer in those days was distinguished from the men by 
the suffix " ster ; " thus a brewster, webster, and backster 
meant a woman who could brew, weave, and bake. In the 
fifteenth century we hear of female manufacturers in weaving, 
carding, spinning, and other branches of industry which are 
mentioned in a public document. But in 1457 the silk-women 
of London brought disaster on themselves by not keeping 
quiet. They memorialized the Legislature in no measured 
terms on the injury they sustained from the free importation 
of foreign goods of the kind by which they earned their 

74 Woman 's Mission. 

livelihood. Meetings were held ; fiery speeches were delivered ; 
indignant appeals were made ; resolutions were passed amid 
laughter, defiance, and applause ; but in the end the agitation 
was successful so far. Parliament exerted itself and gave 
them what they wanted ; but their womanly voices had been 
heard, and these sounds were evidently not pleasing to 
masculine ears ; for there came a time (about 1464, I think) 
when it was determined by the powers that were that women 
should resume their dependent position, and by degrees they 
were surely, although imperceptibly, elbowed out of their 
employments by the sterner sex. The men, apparently, in 
carrying on those trades which for nearly a century had been 
pursued by women, had no objection to the feminine appella- 
tions, and in their turn became known as brewsters, backsters, 
websters, and so on. Only one of these names they left, 
namely, spinster ; and that appellation all unmarried ladies 
retain to this day, whether they follow the occupation of 
spinning or not. 

But to pass on to Ladies' Guilds. The first I can hear 
of is a Literary Guild, started about the year 1851, which 
flourished for a short time only. Then arose an association 
called the Ladies' Guild, which women who craved for 
remunerative employment could become members of by join- 
ing a school for instruction in decorative art, paying the small 
sum of two and sixpence per week ; the school having its 
habitat somewhere near Fitzroy Square, London. This 
decorative art turned out to be some peculiar form of painting 
on glass. I believe I am right in saying that this second 
of Ladies' Guilds also came to grief before very long. 
Parents were still unwilling that their daughters should 
follow any but a few accustomed employments. 

From that time to the present all kinds of Ladies' Guilds 
have sprung up. Some have flourished like the proverbial 
bay-tree, others have perished. However, it is not of the 
Employment Bureau Guilds I wish to speak, but of certain 
Ladies' Needlework Guilds in England, organized and carried 
on in the sacred cause of charity ; and a few details con- 
cerning these admirable charities will assure you that the 
ladies of England are no less handy and ready with their 
needles than they were hundreds of years ago. All that 

Working Guilds and Work Societies. 75 

appertains to needlework does not result in glitter, show, and 
frivolity. These charitable guilds stand in the by-paths 
where the needle is not wielded for fashion alone, but humbly, 
quietly, and dexterously, by busy and energetic women, for 
the good of others less fortunately placed in the world. 

The Needlework Guild that Lady Wolverton originated 
provides comfortable clothing for orphan children. This 
guild is an illustration of " Little by little the acorn grew ; " 
but, for that matter, the same may be said of all Ladies' 
Working Guilds, since they all sprang from very small 
beginnings, and grew to flourishing estate without ostentation. 
They are the outcome of individual or combined efforts on 
the part of numbers of kind-hearted and compassionate 
ladies, whose attention is not centred exclusively on them- 
selves, their pleasures and amusements, but who have thoughts 
to spare for unfortunate fellow-creatures lost in the depths of 

It was because Lady Wolverton would not believe in the 
word " impossible," as applied to any good work, that her 
guild came into existence. Ten years ago she was suddenly 
asked to make a certain number of jerseys (for some poor 
little orphans) in an incredibly short space of time ; a task 
"which, even working day and night, ten ringers could not 
accomplish." The sympathetic answer to the request was, 
" All right," and all right it turned out to be. Lady Wolver- 
ton called together all her friends who had spare time on 
their hands, and enlisted them in the good service. From 
that incident the Needlework Guild sprung, which now 
flourishes under the general presidency of her Royal Highness 
the Duchess of Teck, who is keenly interested in the work. 
Its magnitude will at once be seen when we gather that from 
three branches of the guild alone, London, Surrey, and 
Middlesex, over 70,000 articles of clothing were contributed 
this last year. 

But by far the largest and most influential of the guilds 
is that of which the Duchess of Teck is president. It includes 
all Middlesex ; but London and Middlesex being too large 
to embrace in one scheme, the Duchess divided her guild 
into two. North Middlesex and part of Surrey is under the 
general presidency of her Royal Highness the Duchess of 

76 Woman's Mission. 

Albany, under whom the Baroness Burdett-Coutts acts as 
president of the North London Association. The Duchess 
of Teck received last year, and sent out in November, over 
30,000 parcels of clothing ; and from the North London 
Branch of the Duchess of Albany's Guild over 1000 packages 
were received and sent out. In the Middlesex Needlework 
Guild there are Ladies' Working Parties of the Ragged 
School Union, of which the Baroness Burdett-Coutts is 
president, and truly wonderful is the quantity of work turned 
out by the members of this union. And as I write the name 
of the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, I cannot help thinking that 
here is one noted Englishwoman who is a Guild in herself : 
so varied, so systematic, so thorough, and so numerous have 
been her charities. 

The Berkshire and Buckingham Needlework Guild was 
established early in the year 1890 by her Royal Highness 
Princess Beatrice (Princess Henry of Battenberg), for supply- 
ing warm and useful clothing to poor parishes and institutions 
in the above-named counties. The Princess has many willing 
workers enlisted under her banner, and so indefatigable have 
they been that the number of articles sent in each year has 
been nearly double that of the preceding year. To this guild 
the president of each centre contributes a small annual sum 
of three shillings, and each vice-president two and sixpence ; 
but " associates " only contribute their work. The Princess 
Beatrice is president also of the Isle of Wight Needlework 
Guild, which was started in the autumn of 1889. A guild 
which does not ask for any contributions in money is Lady 
Melville's North St. Pancras Working Guild. Originated by 
herself, its operation is confined to a comparatively small 
locality ; but acquaintance with its working assures us that 
though the association is less imposing than many others, 
it yet covers a large area of usefulness. 

Another very useful although comparatively small asso- 
ciation is the Diocese of Ripon Ladies' Needlework Guild, 
founded in connection with the Clothing Guild for Poor Clergy 
by Mrs. Boyd Carpenter, who felt that although cast-off outer 
garments might still be acceptable to the over-pressed wives 
of the clergy, the same could hardly be said of underclothing. 
Therefore she invited her friends to become members of this 

Working Guilds and Work Societies. 77 

Needlework Guild, in order to supply new underclothing for 
distribution among the clergy of the diocese. 

The Guernsey Society for Supplying Needlework to the 
Respectable Poor was started seven years ago. The poor 
receive parcels of unmade work, and on presenting the gar- 
ments finished receive payment for them, the object of the 
society being to supply women of good character with needle- 
work in their homes during the winter months. 

The Alford Needlework Association in Buckingham 
Palace Road, founded by the late Lady Marian Alford in 
1884, and now under the direction of the Earl Brownlow, had 
two objects in view at its foundation, objects which have 
never been lost sight of. Lady Alford and the ladies 
associated with her proposed to make needlework a recog- 
nized trade, and to enlarge the circle of trained needlewomen 
so as to enable them to get a higher rate of wages. The 
second object was to divide these trained needlewomen into 
classes. The workrooms are divided out into three depart- 
ments. The first is occupied by sailors' and soldiers' widows 
and daughters, who work chiefly at army and navy clothing ; 
the second is occupied by workwomen of a higher standard, 
who undertake the making of trousseaux, Indian outfits, and 
work of a similar nature ; while in the third department 
ladies in reduced circumstances toil at any kind of plain or 
artistic needlework with which they are familiar. Attached 
to this institution is a registry office which, for a small fee, 
supplies dressmakers and needlewomen by the day. 

The latest of all these institutions is the Theatrical 
Ladies' Guild. It seems that the idea of this guild was 
thrown into shape by three or four compassionate and warm- 
hearted members of the dramatic profession, moved by a 
knowledge of the destitution in which some poor members 
find themselves when they are about to become mothers. 
A scheme was thereupon set afloat by Mrs. C. L. Carson, 
with the design of getting together such articles of clothing 
as are needed at such times ; and parcels of these (with bed- 
linen) are despatched whenever they are wanted. Upon the 
return of this first parcel, another is sent as a gift : this 
parcel consists of a complete set of short-clothes for the 
baby. The appeal for help to start the guild was speedily 

7 8 Woman's Mission. 

responded to, and it is now in a very thriving condition and 
doing a most useful work. 

Before closing this little paper I feel that I ought to 
make some allusion to bazaars, which have earned from time 
to time large sums of money for good causes. These bazaars 
could not have been carried out had not an infinite amount 
of thought and personal labour been bestowed on them by 
a great number of energetic and charitably minded ladies ; 
who, though they may have only formed themselves into 
Guilds for the nonce, have laboured quite as faithfully and 
benevolently as the members of more lasting Working Ladies' 
guilds. The first bazaar of any note was held long ago at 
York ; and, if I mistake not, the ladies who took part in 
it were rather bitterly reproached for turning themselves into 
temporary shopkeepers, even for sweet charity's sake, and 
met with a good deal of opposition. A little time after, 
there was a Dickens Bazaar in London, at which all the fair 
stall-holders dressed as some Dickens' character ; and from 
that time to this bazaars have always held their own. 

And then we should be " real ungrateful," as Americans 
would say, if, while speaking of Ladies' Guilds, we neglected 
to draw public attention to the ready help accorded to many 
a benevolent undertaking by the artistes singers, actresses, 
reciters, of all nationalities who foregather in London. 
They are ever willing to give their services at concerts, 
organized now for one charity and now for another ; and 
they are as untiring in their endeavours to please on these 
occasions as though a handsome cheque awaited them at the 
end of the performance. 

( 79 ) 


" Life hath no dim and lowly spot 
That doth not in her sunshine share." 


"THERE is no new thing under the sun," and certainly 
woman's work on behalf of the poor and suffering is no new 
thing. From the earliest ages, so far as human history goes, 
woman, under the most adverse circumstances, has ever been 
associated with deeds of charity and kindness. As Dryden 
sings of one 

" Such multitudes she fed, she clothed, she nurst, 
That she herself might fear her wanting first. 
Of her five talents, other five she made." 

Hence, in the modern 'revival of benevolence and philanthropic 
activity, woman has borne her full share. Elizabeth Fry and 
Florence Nightingale were but pioneers, in whose footsteps 
have gladly trod thousands whose names, unknown to public 
fame, have yet been a very perfume amongst the afflicted and 
forsaken. Wherever sorrow, suffering, or sickness is found, 
there runs the golden thread of woman's ministry and 

As in savage Dahomey the Amazons lead the fiercest 
charges and are in the forefront of the onslaught, so, in the 
nobler warfare against ignorance and vice, misery and want, 
women have ever been found in the leading ranks, willing to 
spend and be spent, and hoping against hope when the 
stronger sex have felt inclined to give up in despair of doing 
any good. In the mighty movements of the present century 
they have taken their full part, doing the real, quiet, steady 

So Woman s Mission. 

work, sacrificing themselves freely on behalf of the poor and 
the perishing. 

If this be true in general, it has been peculiarly so in the 
great Ragged School movement, for ever associated with the 
name of the Earl of Shaftesbury. Half a century ago, a few 
earnest men bestirred themselves in regard to the neglected 
children of the poor ; and, as the earliest reports 'show, these 
pioneers found their most loyal and trusted helpers in the 
women who gave time and talents, strength and devotion, to 
the furtherance of the cause. 

To those who have familiarized themselves in any degree 
with the early history of Ragged Schools, this simple state- 
ment of fact means much. Ragged School teaching in those 
days was no light task. Nor is it so now ; but then it 
demanded an heroic : endurance and courage. The lawless, 
untamed children who came to the schools first opened had 
never known what it was to obey. Discipline, cleanliness, 
order, were all alike foreign to their ideas. They thronged 
into the new schools with the purpose of having a bit of fun 
by upsetting everything. They blew out the candles, flung 
over the forms, let birds and mice loose in the room in order 
to create an uproar among the scholars and shake the nerves 
of the teachers. These and a hundred similar tricks devised 
by the ingenuity of these street Arabs had to be endured, and 
as often as possible ignored, by the devoted few who " blazed 
the way " into the primeval forests of ignorance and neglect. 

Nor was this all. No Ragged School building then 
existed, and these early efforts had to be made in stables, 
cellars, attics, and all kinds of close hot rooms, which, when 
crowded by unwashed children, would often become so fetid 
and unwholesome that fainting was no uncommon occurrence. 
Many of the teachers who encountered these early trials 
were women women of delicate frames but heroic spirit, the 
martyrs of the early days of the movement. 

Woman's work in the Ragged Schools has embraced 
many departments. Her gentle forbearance, tireless patience, 
consuming zeal, keen perception, ready adaptability, quick 
thought, and willing self-sacrifice for the sake of others, have 
pervaded the whole enterprise, bringing the cause trium- 
phantly through its darkest hours. 

Woman s Work in tlte Ragged Schools. 81 

While, however, woman's influence has moulded in some 
degree the whole movement, there have been departments 
which she has made specially her own. In giving some 
outline of these it is not possible to enter on minute details 
or mention names. Their many names are enrolled on high, 
their work abides, and its blessed results are known of all 
who have benefited by or shared in their service. 

The departments of Ragged School labour which woman 
has made her own have been teaching, mothers' meetings, 
visitation of the sick and the poor, and clothing the naked ; 
as well as such later developments as holiday homes, and the 
work among home cripples. In reviewing these, we begin 
with teaching, the first step in the work. If the boys in 
early days were rough and lawless, the girls were no less so. 
With them men could do nothing ; but, as the well-thumbed 
reports of pioneer days attest, women's patience gradually 
tamed the girls, to many of whom love and gentleness came 
almost as a revelation. But ere their hearts were reached 
much had to be borne by the teachers who yearned over 
them and shed many a tear on their behalf. The girls' 
classes have always been under the care of ladies, and these 
come from all ranks of society. In one school, East End 
way, may be found, almost any evening, teachers from both 
ends of the social scale working side by side, and equally 
prompt in drying the eyes of some unhappy child or giving 
it a much-needed wash. This unity of purpose between 
varied social grades has long been characteristic of the 
Ragged School enterprise. 

As these little girls grow up, the ladies seek to hold and 
win them by forming girls' clubs and friendly societies, and 
in a hundred ways trying to retain their confidence, and help 
them in the trials peculiar to their hard lives. They have 
formed successfully, not only Bible classes, but also sewing, 
dressmaking, woolwork, and similar useful classes, teaching 
them how to wield deftly woman's weapon, the needle. 
Cooking classes also flourish in many of the schools. And, 
as intemperance is the ruin of tens of thousands, temperance 
work has ever been kept well to the front by the women 
workers of the Ragged Schools. Nor has their teaching- 
sphere included girls only. Long ago brave, resolute women 


82 Woman s Mission. 

volunteered to try the effect of woman's influence on rough 
lads who had defied a male teacher's authority. In many such 
cases the only course had seemed to be expulsion from the 
school for the sake of other scholars, when some pitying lady 
teacher offered to give them one more chance. We have 
before us, as we write, the record of such noble undertakings ; 
and in each one of them the gentle love of her who thus, in 
weakness and trembling, faced the roughs, has been crowned 
with fullest success. 

Only the other night we heard a father, the superintendent 
of a successful school, tell how when the rough lads broke all 
bounds, he asked his own daughter to try them. She con- 
senting, he wisely appointed two of the wildest spirits as her 
bodyguard. Put on their honour, they well fulfilled their 
charge ; and although she taught that class for years she 
never met with a single insult conquering by love and 
patience. Many of these very lads are now prosperous 
Christian men and earnest teachers. Their own statement 
is that under God they owe everything to the girl who 
undertook to " try the roughs," rather than that they should 
be expelled and left to drift to ruin. The story of Ragged 
Schools contains many such episodes of womanly courage 
and womanly magnetism. 

But even rougher and more reckless than these lads were 
many of the factory girls engaged in cocoa, cigar, fancy box, 
button, and similar manufactories ; not to mention the 
rougher classes of labour, dust sorting, jute and rope factories. 
These seemed hopelessly defiant. Every attempt to reach 
and interest them appeared doomed to failure. Taken 
separately they might be managed, but in groups they but 
dared one another to play the wildest pranks. We have seen 
them turn out the gas, upset the forms, and reduce the whole 
place to utter chaos, until the weary teacher had to beat a 
hasty and sorrowful retreat. Yet even here, woman's 
ingenuity, patience, and gentleness have won their way. 
Those who would not be taught better things proved willing 
to learn how to mend their clothes, make a tidy apron, or 
trim a hat ; and at the end of an hour's practical help of this 
kind would listen to a few loving words. So were they won, 
so are they being won day by day in our factory girls' clubs 

Woman s Work in the Ragged Schools. 83 

and institutes. It is a work which has taxed woman's best 
and rarest gift, and yet after all has yielded grand results. 
The ladies who have endured the most are now the readiest 
to declare the work is worth doing and the factory girls 
worth winning. 

Then also Mothers' Meetings, so closely associated with 
Ragged Schools, have been peculiarly women's work. Mrs. 
Bayly, who led the way in founding these useful helps for 
mothers, wrote last winter a paper for a Ragged School 
Workers' Conference, in which she dwelt on the value of 
Mothers' Meetings in creating a new atmosphere in poor 
homes, and inspiring thousands of women with new ideas as 
to home life and the training of children. We need not do 
more than name these Mothers' Meetings, for they are 
thoroughly appreciated by all interested in home mission 

Then there are creches for the infants of poor mothers 
compelled to work for the support of the family. Necessity 
knows no law, and mother had perforce either to lock baby 
in a room all day alone, or leave it in the care of some child 
but little older ; unless she handed it over to the care of 
some woman who made a few pence by minding half a dozen 
babies, or rather letting them mind themselves. Years ago 
Mrs. Hilton led the way in opening a day nursery for such 
infants. Now in many of the Ragged Schools there are airy, 
healthy, well-managed creches, superintended by ladies. As 
with mothers' meetings, day nurseries have been peculiarly 
women's work, and under women's direction and care. 

Turning to another department, the records of the Ragged 
School movement show that women have been invaluable as 
visitors. They have followed their scholars home, sought to 
help the poor mothers in a thousand ways, introducing white- 
wash, soap and water, and the beauties of tidy cleanliness ; 
besides bringing the higher and sweeter message of the 
Gospel. In times of sickness the teachers have been sure to 
find their way to the poor home. No pains have been spared 
to lighten, alleviate, and cheer the homes of sorrow. We 
know of one who for twenty-five years has been daily visiting 
in one poor district. She knows every room and family 
therein, and is looked up to as friend, counsellor, and guide 

84 Woman's Mission. 

in sickness or distress, yet like others we have spoken of she 
is a voluntary worker. In the cholera visitation of 1866, the 
self-sacrifice and devotion of the lady teachers in many of our 
poor districts was simply marvellous. For weeks the dead 
and dying were all around them ; yet they flinched not, 
visiting constantly, rendering every possible service to the 
stricken, weeping with the bereaved, contriving for the widows 
and orphans, and labouring with a quiet heroism beyond all 

This service in distress, in sickness, in home trouble of 
every kind, has been specially undertaken by women in the 
Ragged School Missions of later times ; and although many 
devoted men have shared in this service, yet our theme is 
woman's work, and no account thereof would be complete 
without this mention of woman's ministry in the homes of 
the poor. 

There are also the clothing operations, which are due to 
the sympathy and keen eyes of the lady teachers, who, seeing 
how the children many of them shivered in their thin rags, 
set their wits to work to make and mend for those in need. 
The earliest efforts were simply the result of the interchange 
of confidences between the lady teachers, as to the pitiable 
condition of some of their children. Old frocks and other 
things were repaired and altered to fit special cases. The 
need was whispered abroad, other ladies helped or sent gifts 
of second-hand clothing and boots. These came through the 
Ragged School Union, and the work grew as the state of 
things among the children of the poor became more widely 

Then in later years ladies' working parties, needlework 
guilds, Guilds of the Good Samaritan, and so on, were 
organized by energetic helpers. In due course a Ladies' 
Auxiliary to the Ragged School Union was formed, under 
the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, one of the most large-hearted 
of our philanthropists, and a life-long generous and consistent 
friend of Ragged Schools. 

We may perhaps mention a few of the ladies' working 
parties which, on behalf of ragged children, are in beneficial 
action. There are the London Needlework Guild, under the 
leadership of the Hon. Mrs. Halford ; the Tulse Hill Ladies' 

Woman's Work in the Ragged Schools. 85 

Working Party ; the Chiswick Dorcas Society ; the Guild of 
the Good Samaritan, and similar working parties at Sidcup, 
Highbury, Highgate, Finchley, Hampstead, Harrow, Bromley, 
Ealing, Hemel Hempstead, Godalming, Melksham, Swansea, 
and elsewhere. H.R.H. the Princess Louise, and H.R.H. the 
Princess Mary, and many other ladies have co-operated by 
sending gifts of warm clothing. One friend, with her house- 
hold, makes up complete outfits for boys, even to shirts, 
stockings, and boots. We only mention these as illustrative 
of what ladies are doing for the ragged and shoeless children 
in London alone. 

These working parties assume many forms. There are 
" Busy Bee " parties, and Bible-class sewing parties. Visiting 
a mission only the other day, we found the members of a 
Young Women's Bible-class hard at work stitching garments 
for poor girls. Then there are household parties ; mistresses 
interesting their maids, often with the best results. It is 
wonderful how many useful articles come to us from domestic 

Then come the Holiday Homes, of which the Ragged 
School Union has now ten, and in which ladies have largely 
co-operated. Indeed, a very fine home, Arthur's Home, at 
Bognor, only lately opened, was a lady's noble gift to the 
Ragged School Union a mother's memorial to her son, who 
loved poor children. At Addiscombe, near Croydon, Louisa, 
Lady Ashburton has built three holiday homes for adults, 
children, and infants with their mothers. In these homes, of 
course, women find their sphere as matrons and helpers. In 
the whole Holiday Home movement women aid in the 
heartiest way ; and in truth, going back to origins, the move- 
ment itself, which this year gave to over five thousand weary 
sickly children a fortnight's holiday in the country or by the 
seaside, sprang from a woman's loving thought in inviting a 
few poor children to stay some days in her cottage in the 
country. So in this, as in many another departure in service, 
woman led the way. 

Coming now to another new development, we find in this 
case that a man, not a woman, was the pioneer ; but, once 
suggested, women have been its best helpers. This is the 
Home Cripples' Branch, started by an American, who dis- 

86 Woman's Mission. 

covered hundreds of maimed, crippled, helpless little prisoners 
in .out-of-the-way slums, unable to move out of doors, un- 
taught, uncared for in every way, and dragging out their sad 
lives in lonely misery. He is now helped in this work by a 
blind lady visitor, who has learned to find her way to the 
rooms where the little cripples lie, bringing them words of 
cheer, and changing from one to another toys, picture books, 
and the like, to while away the weary hours. There are also 
two certificated kindergarten ladies, teaching those capable 
of tuition to read and sing ; thus affording them some pleasure 
and occupation in life ; and a widow is doing good service as 
a sort of mothers' assistant and nurse. So in this new effort 
on behalf of a peculiarly pitiful class, women are doing work 
which they alone can do. 

It will be borne in mind that in mentioning these few 
illustrative instances, we are referring to a work embracing, 
in London alone, two hundred Ragged School Missions, with 
between four and five thousand voluntary teachers, more 
than half of whom are women. In this movement, which 
has progressed for nearly half a century, women have taken 
their part ; some for short periods, it is true, others for many 
years. Apart from the vast host of ladies who have helped 
by generous gifts, by zealous collections, and by concerts, 
either to delight poor children or to raise funds for their 
benefit, in London alone, twenty to thirty thousand women 
have directly laboured in Ragged School work. Thus it is 
evident that the undoubted success attained amongst poor 
and neglected children is largely owing to the beneficial 
influence of woman's hands, woman's head, and woman's 


EMIGRATION is a subject which has always attracted the 
attention of the thoughtful, but it is far from being thoroughly 
mastered. Its value as a relief to over-population in Europe 
is undoubted, but much uncertainty still prevails as to the 
right methods of conducting it. The uncertainty arises 
principally from the want of reciprocity, and the value of 
such an opportunity as the present one of bringing before 
thoughtful people on both sides of the water the importance 
of a more extended study of the subject, cannot be over- 

Roughly speaking, Emigration may be regarded in two 
aspects. There have always been the emigrants who go of 
their own free will, inspired by their own energy, who have 
founded communities, nay, even established empires ; and 
these have been and may still, at the present time, be regarded 
as the salt of the earth. But deeply as the world's history 
is indebted to such pioneers, they are too limited in number 
to affect the question much, as it stands at present. When- 
ever the pioneers thus indicated discover the treasures of 
God's earth in different places there arises a vehement outcry 
for human labour to utilize these gifts. And it is just then 
that intelligent intervention in the form of well-regulated 
emigration is invaluable. 

The regulation of the supply of labour, everywhere occupies 
the thoughts of statesmen and philanthropists ; in fact, it may 
be called the burning question of the hour. Emigration must 
always affect it powerfully, and this resource will never give 

88 Woman 's Mission. 

all the relief and comfort that lies within its capacity until 
a far wider and more detailed knowledge of its better systems 
has been obtained. 

It is with emigration as it concerns labour that we now 
have to do, and our business is to show what has been 
attempted and is being done for it by women. They have 
not failed in former years to bear their part. Much was 
done by Mrs. Chisholm forty years ago for the better 
regulation of female emigration to Australia ; and Lady 
Herbert of Lea, Lady Kinnaird, and other workers, co- 
operated with the effort made to emigrate working women 
by means of Mr. Sidney Herbert's Emigration Fund. 

The society called the British Ladies' Emigration Associa- 
tion did admirable work for many years in selecting matrons 
for the protected parties going to Australia and other British 
colonies. These matrons collected a mass of information 
which has since been turned to good account. The Women's 
Emigration, the Church Emigration, and other societies have 
worked on the same lines. They have gradually proved to 
us that the transmission of emigrants is a matter requiring 
the utmost thought and preparation ; and, above all, they 
have done good work in exploding the pernicious theory 
that it is right to send away a thoughtless insubordinate 
youth, or a giddy ill-conducted girl, as a remedy for what 
can be better corrected and restrained at home. But the 
association which gives the most accurate and careful 
attention to the whole of its methods is the United British 
Women's Emigration Association. From other papers the 
Congress will no doubt learn the value of the special 
protection and care secured to large bodies of working girls 
in England by means of the societies known as the Girls' 
Friendly, the Young Women's Christian, the Metropolitan 
Association for Befriending Young Servants, and the Women's 
Help Society. Taken in the aggregate, these bodies represent 
nearly 300,000 persons ; and in referring to the subject before 
us it is important to notice that the officers of all those 
societies emigrate their members through the organization 
of the United British Women's Association. Success cannot 
be attained here except by the reciprocity already recom- 
mended, which means the acquisition of full knowledge as 

Emigration. 89 

to the needs of localities, rates of wages, circumstances of 
journey, as well as conscientious co-operation by persons 
who will make themselves responsible for the reception of 
travellers on arrival. All these are needed for the satisfactory 
distribution of emigrants, and in the case of women going 
alone additional protection has to be secured. In late years 
the emigration to Canada has been greatly facilitated by the 
improvements introduced at the suggestion of Emigration 
Societies by the three great shipping lines. They have been 
gradually induced by the workers who approach them with 
large parties, to give separate quarters for men and women, 
to place the unmarried women in separate compartments 
under their accredited matrons, arranging the married women 
also by themselves with their young children. And the care 
for these travellers continues till they reach the other side 
of the great continent, for they are handed on to the very 
ultimate point of destination. 

It is a pleasure to be able to show that the intervention 
of women has procured these improvements, that the care 
for persons of all sorts who wish to improve their condition 
may be supplied, and security and a new career offered to 
many deserving persons through the intelligent efforts of 

But obtaining introductions and providing travelling 
comfort are not enough, and the educational side of the 
subject has not been neglected. A Colonial Training School 
for young servants and poor ladies is at work at Leaton in 
Shropshire, where the training is most complete. All kinds 
of household work are well taught, including milking, dairy 
work, laundry, and kitchen details ; and the girls trained are 
sent out under the care of the United British Women's 
Association. And indeed this and some kindred institutions 
may be regarded as supplying the best means of relief for 

It is to Miss Rye that England was first indebted for the 
effort to relieve her of orphan pauper children, whom she has 
for many years been systematically transferring to the happy 
homesteads of Canada. There they are incorporated in the 
family life of the parents, and become thorough Canadian 
citizens. By this effort Miss Rye has provided for more than 

9O Woman's Mission. 

four thousand children, of whom she has the most satisfactory 
accounts. They are removed from the taint of pauperism, 
from a joyless unloved childhood, to full parental care and 
a life of respectable labour. 

The best feature of her work is its educational side. The 
children are all passed through the training-house at Niagara, 
and full supervision is continued over all child ren after they 
are placed out, so that their condition can always be ascer- 
tained if necessary. In this admirable work Miss Rye is 
aided by Miss Macpherson, and rivalled, perhaps, by Mrs. 
Bilbrough Wallace's excellent training-school at Belleville, 
Ontario. All kinds of children have here been imported and 
distributed, either to adopting parents, or put to well-organized 
employment ; the children being supervised systematically 
by Mrs. Wallace's own inspector. There can be no doubt 
that the emigration of orphan children is the best possible 
means of relieving them in the calamity of their bereavement, 
as well as for reducing the burdens of overcrowded England. 
But it must be assisted by hearty effort on the other side of 
the water. It is greatly to be desired that training estab- 
lishments of this description could be multiplied in the 
English colonies, and indeed in all countries ; as the kinds 
of work, and the moulding of domestic habits, would then be 
in accordance with the needs of the places where they are 
put. English workers would welcome applications from 
localities or individuals, and a frank interchange of communi- 
cation as to what is desired and expected on both sides. If 
this were more frequent, emigration would be very much pro- 
moted ; for the first requisite is a sound understanding of 
this kind. One would fain hear of journeys undertaken with 
such a view, so that workers on both sides should have a 
direct acquaintance with each other, partaking together in 
the vivid human interests involved in their labours. 

When we think of all that is implied in the great problem 
of how to adjust the distribution of the human race, women 
may well be proud that they have shown themselves com- 
petent to help forward such work. At this moment the 
United British Women is the sole association that has 
received administrative sanction from the Dominion Govern- 
ment For three years it has also been employed to select 

Emigration. 9 1 

the whole of the female emigrants to whom the Government 
of Western Australia grants free passages. By means of its 
loan fund the money for transmission is advanced to numbers 
who would but too probably sink in the struggle at home, 
and whose presence elsewhere becomes a blessing to the 

Is it too much to hope that by the intelligent co-operation 
of women, a system of organized transmission may be 
brought to bear upon all the English-speaking communities 
throughout the world ? 

92 Woman's Mission. 



THE navvies form in England, Scotland, and Wales a nomadic 
class of 100,000 men, besides women and children. Even now 
they are still outside the parochial, educational, sanitary, and 
drink laws. They move about from one public work to 
another, a distinct class or tribe, separated by habit and 
circumstance from their fellow-countrymen, unthought of and 
uncared for save by our poor little mission. So navvies live 
and die ; and yet it is to their toil we owe our docks, canals, 
reservoirs, sewerage works, and railways. Our needs are 
supplied by them with loss of life and limb. Every mile 
of our enjoyable journey by rail has cost a navvy a limb, 
and each tunnel has involved a loss of from one to twenty 
lives. Arthington Tunnel on the way to Harrogate cost 

It was in 1870 that the Leeds Corporation commenced 
the construction of three immense reservoirs, in the upper 
reaches of Wharfedale, to dam up a mountain river and then 
convey its pure waters to Leeds, seventeen miles away. The 
lowest of these reservoirs was made at Lindly Wood, a tree- 
covered vale in the heart of the hills, four miles from Otley 
and eight from Harrogate. Within a month the ground 
was cleared and three long rows of brick huts erected, also 
stables, a food shop, and a " shant " to sell beer ; but neither 
church nor school for these people was ever considered 
necessary in those days. Thank God ! there is not a settle- 
ment of any size without them now. 

The Navvy Mission Society. 93 

A clergyman, the Rev. Lewis Moule Evans, curate of 
Otley, and the following year rector of Leathley (a village 
three miles down the valley), went amongst this new and 
strange population, and his heart burned within him. He 
found that though they had been navvies all their lives, and 
so had dwelt for a time in every part of our land, " no man 
had cared for them" either body or soul. Ordinary Bible 
truths were unknown to them, and Sunday was called " hair- 
cutting and dog-washing day." A very small proportion of 
the men and women could read and write, and the children 
were growing up entirely untaught. 

There was an excellent manager at Lindly Wood who 
suppressed fighting, and would not allow drink to be sold 
illegally in the huts. This was not (and is not) the case on 
other works. In those days the usual after-dinner programme 
on Sunday was a fight, and often the " backers " would begin 
a quarrel on their own account, until sometimes twenty or 
thirty couples were fighting, even at times to the death. The 
huts were generally built of sods, and the floor was the bare 
ground. Marriage was the exception amongst the hut- 
keepers, and indeed navvies lived, and would live now were 
it not for the Navvy Mission Society, as a heathen class in 
our own Christian land. On the other hand, they were brave, 
independent, enduring, generous, clean, and noble in many of 
their unwritten laws, or " ways of the line " as they were 
called ; for while they would kill a policeman who ventured 
down a line to arrest a mate, they would give their last 
shilling as a "tramping bob" to a comrade in distress, and 
no navvy was ever buried as a pauper, nor did orphan 
children find a home in the workhouse. 

The squire, Mr. Fawkes, built Mr. Evans a little wooden 
church ; and a brick room, used as a hospital during an out- 
break of smallpox, by the kindness of the manager, was 
turned into a day school for the children ; and a reading- 
room and night school for the men was established. Mr. 
Evans engaged an able schoolmistress. Mr. Fawkes gave 
20 a year towards her salary, and Mr. Evans, though a poor 
man, bore all the other mission expenses himself. A post- 
office clerk and three working youths from Otley were his 
assistants in the Sunday school. After two services in his 

94 Woman 's Mission. 

own church Mr. Evans walked three miles up to Lindly and 
gave one there in the evening. 

It was a Sunday evening in the late autumn of 1871 when 
I first saw a navvy settlement. I was staying with a lady 
in the neighbourhood and walked over. It was dark in the 
valley, and as I walked along the bank of the river I suddenly 
slipped, and the next moment expected to find myself whirled 
downwards on the waters. Happily, a bush saved me, and 
I walked on more carefully towards the twinkling lights in 
the distance. As I made my way between the two rows of 
huts to the wooden church, half hidden in the wood beyond, 
a strange scene presented itself. 

The doors of many of these cottages stood open, and 
bands of fire and lamp light fell across the dark road-space 
between the rows of huts. In the clean living-rooms numbers 
of fine big men were seated, most of them smoking ; they 
wore white clothes, and one of their number would be slowly 
reading the newspaper to his mates. The tea-things were on 
the tables, and the noise of sputtering ham from frying-pans, 
and the smell of cooking were on the air. Here and there 
through the darkness figures were making their way up the 
ascent to the little church. Within that square room was 
assembled the strangest congregation I had ever seen. 
"Drivers" in red or purple plush waistcoats adorned with 
large pearl buttons, "piece-men" or "stout uns" in white 
knee cords and blue woollen stockings, " gangers " in brown 
velveteen coats, and young fellows, with the invariable bright 
red cotton neckerchief, twirling fur caps awkwardly in their 
hands, were sitting on one side of the building ; on the other 
were the women, mostly stout, capable persons, gay in plaided 
shawls, and bonnets bright with artificial flowers. They kept 
a severe eye upon the children, who, as the schoolmistress 
said, "behaved like pictures." The three or four teachers 
clustered round a single candle (for we had not yet bought 
lamps) and " led " the singing. 

To this congregation a refined and delicate clergyman in 
a white surplice was ministering in a quiet voice, but very 
earnestly. When the service had ended, we all went out 
under the shadowing boughs and saw the overarching sky 
bespangled with stars. The rushing of the river came softly 

The Navvy Mission Society. 95 

to us, the silent protecting hills stood dumb about us, and 
I felt in a new world. Afterwards this became a familiar 
scene, but that first impression was never lost. 

The following year, 1872, I was again in the neighbour- 
hood, and the post-office clerk, now regular superintendent 
(and a very good one) of this first navvy Sunday school, 
asked me to help him to teach. He gave me a fearful class, 
the first one of boys. What awful, mischievous, wild, original, 
lovable boys they were ! At the end of three weeks, when 
I was returning home, my visit at Lindly Wood having ended, 
the teachers begged me to return each Saturday and stay 
until the Monday ; and, to my gratification, so did my evil 
boys. Mr. Evans's permission was heartily given. I had 
caught "the Navvy fever" (it has victimized me ever since, 
and there seems no chance of cure this side the grave, and 
one hopes not beyond) and was therefore quite willing. The 
prospect opened a vista of new interests in a lonely life. But 
two difficulties arose forthwith ; my relatives were shocked 
and indignant. Many bitter things were said both then and 
for years afterwards. It was "a most improper proceeding." 
I was "too young," "wished to be singular," "would do no 
good," and, lastly, " the navvies were not fit for any lady with 
right feeling to go amongst." I answered that I would do 
my best for one year, and the result would show if I ought 
to go on or not. The other difficulty was that I had nowhere 
to stay. God opened a way, when an old relative thought he 
had completely blocked it. The manager fitted up a cup- 
board, in which some dry clothes were stored, with a mattress 
and blankets, and for four years I slept in the schoolroom 
(that is, when the rabbits who lived below the floor thought 
fit to let me) ; and those were four of the happiest years of 
my life. 

We were treading on unknown ground in mission-work, 
but, though doubtless many mistakes were made, we were 
"all of one heart," and liked and trusted each other thoroughly ; 
and God was with us and poured out His blessing. We saw 
the whole settlement change. Every child on the ground, 
and from twenty to thirty men, were in our Sunday school ; 
numbers of men learnt to read and write in Mr. Evans's night 
school ; over ninety per cent, of the children passed the 

g6 Woman s Mission. 

Government day-school inspection. Fights were unknown, 
and drinking dwindled down until a drunken man was seldom 
seen. Certainly, after two years I gave up my boys' class in 
despair ; but two of the boys afterwards died with their hands 
in mine, and went home " in sure and certain hope." Another 
is an excellent clergyman, a fourth a valued navvies' mis- 
sionary ; and the others are decent and (one hopes) Christian 

We had one great drawback : we noticed that men who 
left us and went to seek other work, when they returned 
always gave one answer to our eager inquiries, " Have you 
been to church to school ? What have you been doing ? " 
"There's nothing of no sort for us chaps, nowhere." We 
found they went away from us to be "pariahs." As a class 
they were dreaded and individually they were scorned. If 
navvies came into a district the clergy spoke of them as " an 
invasion," and thanked God when they were gone. Good 
Christians described them as " a moral pest." Farmers re- 
fused to give them a night's shelter even in a barn, or 
let them filthy stables at rack-rents (and still do). Cottagers 
took them in as lodgers (and do so still) and crammed twelve 
men into a room barely large enough for five. Shop- 
keepers charged (and charge to this day) thievish prices if 
they saw a navvy enter their doors : for one ounce of arrowroot 
for a sick man I have paid sixpence, when a whole pound 
cost the seller only tenpence. Milk would be saved to fatten 
pigs and calves and refused at any price to a navvy-child at 
death's door with fever. 

Some contractors treated their men as "raw material," 
working them overtime in summer, and discharging them 
when winter stopped work ; and such is too often the case 
now, so that thousands of men are drifting about in want and 
misery every winter. If they go to the workhouse they are 
inadequately fed, and are often vexatiously detained to pick 
oakum. The consequence is that they will rather endure 
extreme want than enter the workhouse doors. But although 
things are bad for our men to-day, twenty years ago they 
were far worse. No man's wages in England are now paid 
in food-tickets on a contractor's shop. Sod huts, which were 
the usual ones then, are now no longer to be found. Clergy 

The Navvy Mission Society. 97 

and employers act for the most part very differently now, 
and no great engineer would say, as one said to me 
fourteen years ago, "Night-schools and reading-rooms are 
a mistake ; let them remain ignorant." " But they leave 
work at six, how are they to spend their evenings ? " " Let 
them go to bed ! " I could not help inquiring, " Would you 
like to go to bed at six o'clock ? " The great man said with 
a cold stare, " That's quite different." 

As every man's hand was against them, the hands of 
navvies were against " natives," as they called outsiders ; and 
the work done amongst them for the love of Christ was 
a wonder to them. The tale of Lindly Wood began 
to be told on other works and was disbelieved. "You 
tell us that" said a man working on the very next Leeds 
reservoir, " and you think we'll believe it ? I've been a navvy 
all my life, and no parson ever came among us, and no 
teachers, and no ladies ; it's a lie." On another occasion 
some men were at dinner in a hut when one of their fellows 
called out, " Come and look ! here are two converted navvies 
from Lindly Wood ! " The men sprang up and rushed to 
the door. One of them told me this six months ago, and 
added, " I didn't know what one looked like then, but, 
thank God ! I know what it is to be one now." So it grew 
into us on every side that these men and women ought to 
be followed. 

Mr. Evans, and we teachers, wrote a number of inquiries 
and addressed them to the managers of all the works we 
could hear of from men on tramp. To direct these was 
indeed guesswork, the men pronounced the names so queerly ; 
besides which, as navvies have a kind of language of their 
own, and usually themselves go by nicknames, as " Curly," 
" Punch," " Glen," " York," " Nottingham," so they give the 
works catch-names "The Long Drag," "Junction," "Slaughter 
House," etc. But we did our best and found out seventy- 
two. In our inquiries we asked, " How many men have you ? 
How many huts, etc. ? Does any clergyman or other minister 
visit ? Have you a service, Sunday or day school ? " and so 
on. " No," was the reply to every question at all the seventy- 
two places save one Blackamore, near Halifax, where the 
vicar, the Rev. C. Green, was, it appeared, working. 


98 Woman's Mission. 

We knew that special short efforts had been made in 
former years by Dr. Fremantle (Bucks), Miss Fox (Devon), 
Miss Marsh (Beckenham) ; but when these favoured works 
closed, the navvies were not followed, and were soon again 
swallowed up in the prevailing darkness. The outlook was 
very hopeless. Mr. Evans was in a consumption from over- 
work, damp, and, above all, a loss which had saddened his 
life, and Lindly Wood was ending. Before it finally closed 
the men in my class asked that some little brotherhood 
might be established, which in the neglect and darkness into 
which they were again returning might hold us together. 
They drew up three promises, binding themselves to a 
Christian life. This is the Christian Excavators' Union. It 
began with twenty-five navvy members and eight others. 
We now number over six hundred. England is divided into 
four districts. Ladies are the head secretaries. Our duty 
is to visit the stations from time to time, and encourage 
the members under the persecution they have to endure, 
seek again those led astray, comfort and help those who 
are in trouble, and give addresses in the mission-rooms, 
explaining the object of the Christian Excavators' Union, 
and urging whole-hearted devotion to Christ. This Union 
has become the heart of the mission ; from it the life blood 
flows, and the prayers of the Union have been the cause of 
the wonderful success God has given us. 

One night in the late autumn of 1876, the water rushed 
suddenly into the great Lindly Reservoir. The huts were 
submerged, the settlement ended, and our own navvy families 
were scattered to all corners of the land. Mr. Evans was 
ordered abroad, and this navvy-work seemed to have ended as 
all previous efforts had done, and hopelessness of any better 
future for them settled down upon our hearts. But God saw 
otherwise. That winter a request came to me from the 
navvies themselves to go to the next Leeds reservoir at 
Swinstey, and the manager backed it by offering me a 
disused schoolroom, with a little hut room to sleep in. 

I was told it was three or four miles from the nearest 
station, but found it more than six ; and a fearful walk it was, 
up and down hills, over the Yorkshire moors, with snow- 
drifts sometimes eight feet deep, and curled over like waves 

The Navvy Mission Society. 99 

at the top against the walls ; but fortunately the roads were 
always passable. Four hundred men and many women and 
children were living there in huts. The old teachers could 
not walk up from Otley, and we were too poor to hire a 
conveyance. I therefore wrote to five navvies who had 
become changed men at Lindly, and asked them to get 
work at Swinstey ; they did so, and thus our Sunday school 
was manned with teachers, and very good ones too. Dark- 
ness had rested for four years on Swinstey, and it had been 
the regular Sunday custom to have a fight in the afternoon. 
Of course I dare not, in any case, stop a fight, but never had 
any need to try : there never was another while I was there. 
The men were too true gentlemen to frighten a lady who had 
come among them for their own and the children's sake. 

On the second Sunday our school numbered all the 
children in the settlement, and I had twenty-two men in 
the Bible-class ; and these numbers kept up until the very 
end. The last sight I had of my schoolroom, which had 
been filled with happy faces the day before, was on a Monday 
morning when the roof was being stripped off. When next 
I was there the site was below the waters of the lake that 
navvy hands had made. 

During this time we had been doing what we could to 
rouse public attention, but we had neither money nor 
influence, nor even strength. In 1877 Mr. Evans, who 
during his suffering time in Italy had written two admirable 
articles called " Navvies and their Needs," had them pub- 
lished, by the kindness of the late Mr. Fetter, in the " Quiver ; " 
and Messrs. Isbister were good enough to print a little tale 
of mine, founded much more on fact than fancy, called 
" Little Rainbow." These raised some interest, and then two 
kind friends who saw the trouble I was in gave us 1$ to 
print and post circulars. We got the names of clergymen of 
all parties to guarantee the usefulness of such a mission. 
Our aim was to establish, not a mere personal work which 
would only live with us, but one which should be on a firm 
basis, and live after we were gone ; and we hoped that all 
parties in our Church would be content to meet in an effort, 
which, while a Church one, was purely missionary. Four 
thousand circulars were printed, and with these we teachers 

ioo Woman s Mission. 

wrote four thousand letters. Mr. Evans, dying as he was of 
consumption, wrote half of this number. I posted the whole 
in theEuston Road Office, October, 1877, and well remember 
walking away and saying, " If it is Thy will, prosper this ! 
and if not, let it fail : we have done all we can." God did not 
let the effort fail. In response 480 came in. The Navvy 
Mission was established in November, 1877, and for a year its 
founder worked it as honorary secretary, visiting the works 
and appointing seven missionaries. On November 30, 
1878, he was seized with inflammation, and on December n, 
heard the Master say, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" 
Since then the Navvy Mission has struggled on ; secretaries 
have come and gone ; our president, Bishop Bickersteth, 
died ; of the original committee only our devoted leader, the 
Dean of Ripon (Dr. Fremantle), is left. But through all God 
has blessed us and supplied our needs, and therefore, with 
one of the smallest incomes of any religious society, we have, 
socially, morally, and spiritually, been able to do four times 
the usual amount of work. We spend nothing on offices, 
clerks, advertising, etc. Every penny given goes to the work. 
Every large settlement in England, Scotland, and Wales, has 
its mission and reading-room and schools, its temperance 
societies, and often much-needed ambulance classes. The 
men pass the " first aid " examinations remarkably well. 
Contractors, engineers, gentry, and clergy, are very generally 
interested, and many give excellent help. 

The old scenes of brutality are very nearly things of the 
past. Marriage is regarded, and the moral tone of the men 
is quite different. It is true that the contractors still do not 
put up adequate accommodation for their men, and that 
overcrowding outside the works is too common ; also that, 
in spite of precautions, drink is sold illegally in the huts. It 
is also true that were the mission to collapse, the whole class 
would drop down again ; but still that navvy spoke truly 
who said, " The Navvy Mission has changed all our works. 
It has raised our whole class. How? Why, it has taught 
people to respect us, and it has taught us to respect 

One power to this end has been the Quarterly Letter to 
Navvies, of which I am editor. The men eagerly welcome 

The Navvy Mission Society. 101 

it everywhere, both at home and abroad, though it always is 
very plain in its condemnation of evil. Last year 72 i^s. <\d. 
was sent by navvies in pence, contributed out of their small 
wages as a free gift towards the expense of printing it. Of 
this 11 was sent from the dock works at Buenos Ayres. 
The advance of the society, so quietly made, is shown by this 
table : 

In 1887 it had In 1891 it bad- 
One Hon. Clerical Secretary (the Two Clerical Secretaries. 


Seven Stations. 39 Stations. 

Seven Missionaries. 39 Missionaries. 

20,000 Quarterly Letters were dis- 121,943 Quarterly Letters. 

tributed. Given in pence towards the cost by 

Navvies, voluntarily, ^72 14^. id. 
35 Members of Christian Excavators' 658 Members C.E.U. 


One District Hon. Secretary. Eight District Hon. Secretaries C.E.U. 
Four Christmas Trees or Treats. 29 Christmas Treats. 
No Libraries. 38 Libraries. 
No Temperance Pledges. u>893 Pledges. 
No Rooms of its own. Five Rooms of its own. 
No Missions. Four Special Missions. 
No Nurse or Hospital. One Nurse and one Hospital. 
No Insurance of Missionaries. Insurance of Missionaries and Mission- 
No Missionaries' Pension Fund. aries' Pension Fund just begun. 

Our annual income from general sources is now about 
2300, assisted by as much more raised locally. On this we 
support two secretaries, who are, in fact, clerical missionaries 
as well as organizers, a trained nurse, and thirty-nine mis- 
sionaries. We have thirty-six circulating libraries, and 
supply books, etc., to forty stations. More with our present 
income it is impossible to do, and yet we ought to more than 
double our efforts. 

We require particularly gifted missionaries. They must 
be strong in body, mind, and faith ; such men are difficult 
to find. When we have found and trained them, other 
societies and private clergymen frequently draw them away 
from us. For though their lives are hard, constantly walking, 
and often wet through, employed every day till late at night 
out of doors and in the night schools, we can only pay them 
small wages, and can offer them no future pension, though it 
is impossible for them to save. The whole success of our 

IO2 Woman's Mission. 

work (under God) depends on these men's devotion, and yet, 
when worn out, they have only the workhouse before them. 
Is it right after thirty years of such noble service they should 
lie down to die on a pauper's bed ? Five thousand pounds 
invested would yield an interest sufficient for a modest 
Pension Fund. 

In 1878 I received a letter from Mrs. Hunter, of Hun- 
stanton on the Clyde, stating that a large number of navvies 
were in her neighbourhood, constructing the Fairlie and 
West Kilbride line ; and that she felt so grieved to see 
them standing about in the rain when stopped from work 
that she would like my opinion how best to help them. 
Her difficulty was that they were of three nationalities, 
and three faiths. The four hundred men were made up of 
Irishmen, Gaelic-speaking Highlanders, Scotch Lowlanders, 
and there were Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, and Free 
Churchmen. The outcome was that she erected a beautiful 
shelter or reading-room, but would lend it to none of the 
different sects for Sunday services. On the Sabbath it was 
kept open, and supplied with Gaelic and English Bibles 
and tracts instead of the everyday newspapers. It became 
a great success, and at the end of the year Mrs. Hunter 
built another room alongside the shelter, and in this were 
held Protestant services, Bible-classes, and an adult night- 
school, which were well attended. Her charming manner 
and warm unselfish sympathy touched the men's hearts, 
and she did immense good. A post-office savings bank 
was opened, and through her personal influence over 400 
was invested in fifteen months. When we in England 
tried to do the same at four of our works the next year, the 
post-office official sent up on pay-days could .not get any 
deposits, and after four months we had to give up the 
attempt. The State was an idea, Mrs. Hunter a reality to 
the navvies : they trusted the one and not the other ! 

Mrs. Hunter also changed the whole aspect of the 
Greenock Docks (then in course of construction) by a very 
simple but wise move. The only decent men I saw there 
were two English gangers. The rank and file of the work- 
men we should not have deemed worthy of the name of 
navvies, though they claimed it. They were dirty, ragged, 

The Navvy Mission Society. 103 

wretched creatures, who existed on potatoes, slept in boats 
and doorways, and spent every penny they could get on 
whisky, of which there were three kinds " Over-the-wall," 
" Fighting-stuff," and " Sudden death." The last was " over- 
proof" spirits of wine flavoured like whisky. Mrs. Hunter 
erected a hut and let it to a provision caterer rent free. 
Basins of porridge at a halfpenny each were supplied at five 
o'clock in the morning ; bit by bit the cheap menu was 
enlarged, hot meals three times a day were served, and beat 
the whisky and potatoes. A free reading-room was opened, 
and the reward of two months' attendance was a linen jacket. 
The second visit I made there taught me what one woman 
can do who puts her head as well as her heart into God's work. 

For more than three years Mrs. Hunter worked at the 
Fairlie line, and also endeavoured to establish a Navvy 
Mission for Scotland. There the difficulty was not, as it is 
with us, money, for the Church of Scotland has a Home 
Mission Fund sufficient to meet all such needs ; but to get 
any help from this fund the local clergy in their Presbytery 
have to agree and send a petition for help to the General 
Assembly. The local Presbytery can send back the petition 
of any single clergyman for reconsideration or alteration ; 
the General Assembly can do the same to the local Presby- 
tery. The consequence is, a petition for aid may be one or 
half a dozen years under consideration before any definite 
action is taken ! In fact, for four years this was the case at 
Fairlie ; and during the whole time the navvies were there 
Mrs. Hunter had to find the funds for her temporal and 
spiritual mission work. She sent printed appeals on behalf 
of the navvies to every minister attending the General 
Assembly, and to the nobleman, a personal friend of her own, 
who was the Convener, but with no result. Then I saw, for her, 
every leading minister in Glasgow and Edinburgh. All were 
most delightfully kind and willing to help, but all equally 
rigid to " gang no gait but their ain," and at their own pace, 
too ! In vain we urged that while they were considering, the 
navvies were living heathen lives of neglect and sin, and that 
promptitude was the soul of success, or the opportunity 
would be past. 

Mrs. Hunter, worn out by domestic trouble and broken 

IO4 Womaris Mission. 

in health, was obliged to give up the attempt, and our 
English Navvy Mission had to send a missionary to the 
Edinburgh Waterworks. This was done at the request of 
Miss Campbell, sister of Sir Archibald Campbell of Succoth. 
It was at a very small drawing-room meeting in 1883, which 
he was kind enough to attend because I was his mother's 
guest, that Sir Archibald became interested in the work. 
He shortly afterwards wrote to our committee offering to 
try to get an undenominational Navvy Mission started for 
Scotland. We thankfully endowed the new work with all 
our Scotch subscriptions, and most ably the Scotch Navvy 
Mission is working. It has five missionaries under an able 
superintending missionary, and thus assists in other mission 
work on twelve public works in Scotland. With the slow 
strong enthusiasm of its nationality, the Scotch Navvy Mission 
is quietly pushing forward and holding every inch it gains. 

Mrs. Hunter has passed to her rest. How earnestly 
would I entreat any ladies, English, foreign, or American, 
to follow her example, and show practical sympathy to those 
who need it so much. Wherever navvies are at work ladies 
are needed. It doubles a missionary's usefulness where he 
has the assistance of a lady in the Sunday and night schools, 
mothers' meetings, boys', girls', adult, and ambulance classes, 
and to play and sing, to visit the homes, etc., on the works 
during the breakfast or the dinner hour. In the mission- 
room or the huts the lady will meet with a hearty welcome, 
and each of us who is engaged in this work finds it most 
interesting. Renewed lives, brightened homes, sad hearts 
cheered, men, women, and children saved here and hereafter, 
are the rewards we reap. Nowhere are ladies needed more, 
for nowhere have women more need of help. 

Our navvy women wander from place to place and 
have no claims even on the parish workhouse for mainte- 
nance when left widows, or if deserted by bad husbands. I 
shall never forget one such case, where a young married 
woman was twice purposely deserted to drive her into sin ; 
and finally she died from want rather than enter the life of 
shame her husband had tried to force her into, that he might 
be free. The thin piteous face of that young woman rises 
before me as she showed me a hard cold note the man had 

The Navvy Mission Society. 105 

written her, informing her he was coming back as the event 
turned out, to strip her of her last sixpence. She pointed 
with a smile of triumph to the signature, " Your affectionate 
Husband." " See there ! " she said, with pathetic trust. Yes, 
ladies are indeed needed to bring sympathy to sad hearts and 
hope to fainting ones. 

After the English, the navvies of the world are Italians 
and Scandinavians. Italians do most of the foreign works. 
The number of lives the Mont Cenis and St. Gothard 
Tunnels cost can never be told. During a visit in 1892 to 
Rome I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Grey, of the Scotch 
Church. In vain I had tried to interest English ladies in 
Rome, and others, in the Italian navvies. Dr. Grey came 
forward, and as head of the Scotch Bible Society's Auxiliary 
there, he sent among them this summer two colporteurs, who 
have sold many Italian Bibles and have preached the Gospel 
to their fellow navvy countrymen on both sides of the Alps ; 
and this, we trust, is the commencement of an Italian Navvy 
Mission. The tales we hear of their present condition are 
terrible. A mission to them is second only in importance to 
our own, as English gangers and engine-drivers are the 
leaders on foreign works, while the rank and file of the 
navvies are largely composed of Italians, and in America 
of Norwegians. 

io6 Woman's Mission, 



EARLY in 1853, large numbers of "navvies" were gathered 
from all parts of the kingdom to work on the grounds 
of the Crystal Palace, which had just been erected at Syden- 
ham. The men were lodged in every available room in the 
neighbourhood, and over two hundred were crowded into the 
cottages at Beckenham. This inroad of strangers was justly 
dreaded by the steady parishioners, for these men with truth 
called themselves " a rough lot," and a navvy was looked 
upon as an Ishmaelite, "his hand against every man, and 
every man's hand against him." Beckenham Rectory was 
then my happy home, and whilst visiting in the parish we 
soon heard of the new arrivals, and on Sunday, March I3th, 
I first set out to seek them. It was in the evening that I 
went to a cottage where three or four navvies were lodged, 
and asked for one of the family, by way of an easy introduc- 
tion to the strangers. 

I asked if they had been at church ; but not one had 
thought of it. A few more visits to the cottages where the 
navvies lodged, brought many volunteers for the Bible classes 
which I began for them. Testaments in purple binding, 
small enough for the waistcoat pocket, were offered to all, 
and were eagerly accepted and much prized, though now and 
then the expressions of pleasure were somewhat quaint, such 
as, " Now, ain't it a rare beauty ! I'll cover it with a slice 
off my best red choker." 

Before long many of the men were willing to attend the 
evening service in the schoolroom, and when, on leaving home 

My Work among Navvies at Beckenham. 107 

for a short time, I wrote to several of them to come to the 
Sunday services in church, upwards of thirty responded to 
the appeal on the next Sunday morning, filling the middle 
aisle, in their clean stiff white " slops." 

On the following Thursday evening a missionary meeting 
was held in the schoolroom, there being more than forty 

present. A few days later, I met John H , with a noisy 

party of young men. On the next Thursday evening, when 
I spoke to him, whilst the schoolroom bell was ringing for 
the lecture, he looked much ashamed, and said in a low tone, 
" You ain't agoing to ask me to come to the lecture after the 
way you heard me shouting the other evening ? I had been 
to the public." " I was sure of it. But still I want you to- 
come this evening." " No, never again." " Why not ? " 
" Because it don't do to live two lives." " I know it, John ; 
and that's the reason I want you to come to-night, and to 
begin all over again." " I'll come, then. And I'll bring 
six ! " True to his word, he came marshalling six comrades 
with a leader's pride. From that time he regularly attended 
the services and readings. 

Soon we planned a tea-party for our new friends whose 
wandering life cut them off from innocent enjoyments. The 
schoolroom was decorated with flowers, and " button-holes " of 
geranium and jessamine, tied with blue ribbon, were laid upon 
the plates. The guests arrived, each one looking as clean as 
a baby on its christening day, with their white " slops " newly 
washed, and their hands and faces scrubbed till they shone 
again. There was no confusion or loud talking, and not a 
word was spoken that we could have wished unsaid, while 
the frank and hearty enjoyment was delightful to see. 

Throughout the rest of the year the navvies' attendance 
at church was excellent, and the cottages where Bible readings 
were held were thronged. Five of the navvies were pre- 
sented for Confirmation to the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
who specially remarked afterwards on their devout demeanour 
as they knelt together to receive the rite. 

On the last day of 1853 the sergeant at the police-station 
at Beckenham called to return thanks for the interest that 
had been taken in the men. He said that his duty had 
never been so easy before in Beckenham, for the example of 

io8 Woman s Mission. 

the navvies had restrained the wilder young men of the 

Scarcely had the last of the Crystal Palace workmen left 
Beckenham, when a new interest sprang up in the gathering 
of the Army Works Corps, which from first to last numbered 
nearly four thousand men, to be employed in manual work 
in the Crimea. 

The office where they were engaged was in the Crystal 
Palace grounds, and from July to December, 1855, large 
numbers of men were constantly waiting there. The first 
detachment consisted of railway navvies, whose muscle and 
sinew constituted their recommendation, and whose working 
power therefore stood for their morals. Though they were 
described as " the roughest lot that ever came to Beckenham," 
we found them no less responsive to kindly sympathy than 
our first friends had been. It was not long before they came 
to church, and flocked to the cottage readings. After one 
of these meetings, a man said to me, " I wish the whole lot 
could hear these things. We're all together outside the 
Crystal Palace at seven of a morning ; and the paymaster 
says we're the finest lot he ever saw, and the wildest just 
like four hundred roaring lions." 

The hint was taken, and the next morning we drove to 
the ground, where we found about fifty men assembled. We 
sent the carriage away for a time, and occupied ourselves at 
first in distributing little books and cards of prayers. Con- 
versation easily followed ; and by the time the remainder of 
the four hundred began to make their appearance, the first 
fifty had become our firm friends. Not one uncivil word 
was said ; not one hand unwillingly received the prayers. 
As the men gathered round in increasing numbers, I was 
struck with the earnestness of their countenances. And here, 
I may add, that in all my acquaintance with working men, 
never have they let me hear a single oath, or one expression 
which could in the remotest degree shock or pain me. After 
this we drove each morning to meet the men when they 
mustered for their roll-call. 

On the 1 8th of June a report reached us that the men 
were to embark the next day. We drove to the Crystal 
Palace grounds by eight in the morning to take leave of 

My Work among Navvies at Beckenham. 109 

them, and to give Testaments, etc., to all who had not yet 
received them. They were all grave and grateful ; and many 
expressed thankfulness to God for having led them to this 
neighbourhood. I had offered to take charge of any portion 
of their large wages which they chose to empower me to 
receive for them during their engagement in the Crimea, to 
deposit the money in the savings bank, in the form of a 
friendly club, and to keep a private account for each man. A 
large number of men gladly accepted this proposition, and we 
received on an average about 500 a month. An account 
was kept for each man, and the money was either placed in 
the savings bank, or sent to his family. Many of the men 
requested us to forward to needy relatives a portion of the 
money thus saved, which varied from ten shillings to a pound 
weekly. Strangers, as the majority of those who daily arrived 
to swell the ranks necessarily were to us, and the rest only 
friends of a few weeks' standing, I thought it but right to 
give a stamped receipt to each man for the money-order 
which had been drawn out in my name, and carried these 
receipts to the Crystal Palace grounds on the afternoon of 
the 1 8th. It must have been a noble trustfulness in those 
manly natures which made them by common consent fling 
back the receipts into the carriage with something like a 
shout of disdain at the supposition that they could possibly 
require such a pledge of honesty from a friend and a lady. 

On the back of those money-orders we wrote their 
" wills," the disposition of the property thus entrusted to us, 
in case they should not be spared to return. This afforded 
us an opportunity of quiet conversation and prayer with each 
man, as they visited the rectory at all hours on their pecuniary 
matters. At length the order of embarkation came, and on 
June 27th we went to bid them farewell at Greenhithe. 

On the 8th of May, 1856, the Cleopatra anchored off Ports- 
mouth, and six hundred men of the Army Works Corps, with 
exuberant joy, stood again on English ground. From that 
time until the last detachment landed from the Crimea, we 
kept open house for their visits. They came, usually in com- 
panies of from three to a dozen in number. It was pleasant 
to hear their short, strong statements of not having forgotten 
us in the Crimea. " Once we heard as you was dead, and 

1 1 o Woman s Mission. 

nigh two thousand of us ran together and prayed God it 
wasn't true ! " And again : " Whenever any more corned over, 
we said first thing, ' Been to Beckenham, mates ? How was 

they ? ' ' One instance may serve as a type. Henry B 

told us of the death of his mate, William Hawkesworth. " He 
never was the same man after he came to Beckenham lawn 
for the breakfast and prayer ; never swore, took to his Bible, 
and seemed quiet and happy. We used to sing our hymns 
together. He never fell off out of that way, but went straight 
-on, till the day he was blowed up by gunpowder and I 
believe he went straight up to heaven." 

Henry was gravely glad to see the large sum of money to 
which his savings had amounted, and then inquired, " Pray, 
ma'am, what do I owe you ? " 

" Nothing." " Oh yes, ma'am, if you please. I should 
like to pay something handsome for the trouble. It's but 

" Not fair to us," I replied. " It would spoil our pleasure 
in having done it for friendship." "Well, anyhow, you'll put 
something to getting Bibles for them that has none." 

If any hearts have been warmed towards their working 
brothers whilst listening to these brief records, let not the 
generous fire die out with the close of this paper. Meet them 
with sympathy ; try to secure to them their Sabbaths ; hold 
forth to them the Word of Life. God forbid that you should 
shut up in your own hearts the message of life and peace, 
.instead of giving it to every one within reach. 

1 1 1 



IN speaking of the religious and philanthropic work done by 
women in England it is extremely difficult, nay impossible, 
to speak exclusively of what would be recognized as clearly 
and distinctly Church Work, because the Church of England 
is wise enough to shelter under her aegis all the good that is 
being done by her children, even when working. in conjunction 
with other religious bodies ; and to limit our survey to what 
is carried on solely on Church lines, would be to give but 
a very imperfect representation of what that great body of 
English men and women, who form the Church, are doing 
in her service. 

It must, then, be understood that the work dealt with is 
work done by members of the Church of England rather 
than work necessarily for the Church itself. It may be 
religious as well as philanthropic, but much which is purely 
philanthropic in character nevertheless owes its inspiration 
and success to Church members, and as such may be 
claimed as the fruit of Church life amongst us. 'It is not 
suggested that all philanthropic work must be Church work, 
nor indeed distinctly religious work, i.e. not linked on to any 
special form of religion ; but at the same time it is well to 
recognize that where philanthropic work of any kind can be 
affiliated to existing organizations, it is a distinct and positive 
source of strength to both. The religious body gains the 
opportunity of commending its principles by showing that 
its sympathies and aims are wide enough to embrace the 

H2 Woman's Mission. 

bodies as well as the souls of men ; and the philanthropic 
work gains by the help afforded by an organization already 
complete and already at work. And this gain is not a slight 
one. In these days, when kindly hearts are so readily stirred 
and eager hands so swiftly held out to help, it becomes 
a danger lest, in the multiplicity of agencies for good, the 
good itself may slip out of sight, or be so overlaid with 
the red-tape of committees and officialism, that its infant life 
is smothered and its power of growth destroyed. 

Viewed in this broader light, the work of English Church- 
women is almost limitless ; for as each need arises the 
Church sets herself to minister to it, her perfect organization 
enabling her to do this more thoroughly, and with less 
expenditure of energy and material, than would be the case 
with a smaller body. 

An idea of the magnitude of women's work may be con- 
veyed in various ways : it may be conveyed by statistics of 
the number of workers, or of the members enrolled by them 
in the different agencies for good, or of the large area over 
which their work is spread, or it may be conveyed by noting 
how their work touches every department of life. Statistics 
are often misleading, difficult to obtain, generally dry, and 
not always easy to grasp ; they would, moreover, convey but 
a very imperfect idea of what is being achieved by women in 
England, since much, indeed most of their work, is quiet 
unrecorded work, known only to those amongst whom they 
live. This is specially true of religious work, most of which 
is parochial, and not known beyond the limits of the parish ; 
so that the extent and completeness of women's philanthropic 
and religious work will best be realized if we look at it from 
the standpoint of the nation's needs, and mark how in every 
instance where a need has been felt, woman has stepped 
forward to supply it. Philanthropic and religious work can 
scarcely, then, be divided ; for wherever social evils or suffer- 
ings exist, religion finds her part also, not only as an 
inspiring motive, but, in the case of the Church of England, 
as a means of organization in accepting and affiliating 
women's work. 

It becomes, therefore, necessary to understand a little of 
the Church's organization before we can realize the amount 

Work in connection with the Church. 113 

and value of women's work done in connection with her. For 
completeness of organization there is no body which can 
equal the Church of England. From end to end the land is 
covered by her protecting hand ; not a corner of it, not a 
field but is assigned to the charge of one of her sons and 
servants. The largest divisions are those of the dioceses, 
some thirty-four in number. These are subdivided into arch- 
deaconries, two or more in each, and these again into more 
numerous and smaller divisions, known as rural deaneries. 
Lastly, the rural deaneries are cut up into parishes. In 
charge of every parish is the vicar, with one or more clergy 
under him, and numbers of lay workers, volunteers willing to 
devote themselves and their leisure to work in God's vine- 
yard ; and it is of these that this paper would specially speak, 
for our sex may well be proud and thankful to recognize how 
large a proportion of these lay workers are found among 
the women of England. It must not be concluded that men 
do not take their share too ; they do, but of them it is not our 
province now to speak. Neither is it to be expected that they 
could devote so much time to these objects as can women, 
who are without their special responsibilities as bread-winners. 
Women have always been recognized as good workers ; they 
are patient, thorough, and persistent, and consequently seldom 
fail to make a success of what they undertake. At the same 
time, it must be recognized that their incorporation as 
workers into the Church system gives them strength just 
where they most need it. It has been said that women 
cannot organize ; there are instances to the contrary, but, 
without unduly depreciating the sex, it may be frankly ad- 
mitted that their education and training has not hitherto 
been such as to fit them specially for concerted action. Con- 
sequently, the fact that women's work is so largely accepted 
and organized by the Church of England is to them a clear 
source of strength, and to the Church itself it is a gain ; for 
without their aid she could not undertake one-half the work 
she now achieves, nor further the many philanthropic, social, 
and educational causes, which claim her sympathy and support. 
Before indicating the many channels through which such 
help is afforded by women, it will be well to show more 
particularly the way in which the Church's organization, 


H4 Woman s Mission. 

already slightly sketched, may assist in the furtherance of 
this work. 

It has been said that every inch of English soil is under 
the Church's care. Now, one great danger exists in all 
philanthropic work ; the danger of overlapping, the danger 
of having two agencies doing the work of one. This is 
obviated by the parochial system ; for the clergyman in 
charge of the parish should know, and mostly does know, 
what work requires to be done and who is doing it, and has 
the opportunity of guiding or repressing the introduction of 
new agencies. 

It often happens that the needs of a particular parish are 
too small, or the possibility of support too limited, to make 
it wise to start a particular society or good work in it, but the 
neighbouring country town, maybe, has a branch which will 
serve throughout the rural deanery. All that is then needed 
is for the clergyman in each parish to appoint one parishioner 
as secretary for that particular class of work ; her duty being 
to watch for cases which can be benefited by it, and, in 
return, to gather up funds for its support. One central 
committee can thus carry on all the work for the ten or 
twelve parishes forming the rural deanery, with an agent 
known as parochial secretary in each parish. Surely this 
is wiser than several struggling societies throughout the dis- 
trict; each with its committee and secretary wasting time 
and energy in meetings where there is not work enough to 
justify their existence ? 

There is also another gain. Certain societies may be 
looked upon as almost rivals of one another, so slight are 
their differences. Each has been started from the best of 
motives, and each has some special feature to commend it ; 
but in the eyes of those we seek to benefit, or from whom we 
expect support, the chief impression is one of rivalry. This 
is not good. For the sake of harmony and peace, it is better 
to sink one's own individual predilections in the thought 
of the work to be done, even if it is not done in our own 
particular way ; and towards this, loyalty to our Church and 
its officers is a constraining motive. The clergyman of the 
parish is consulted as to the societies which shall take 
root in his ground, he is usually a member of the com- 

Work in connection with the Church. 115 

mittee, and it is known that the work has his sanction and 

The slightest experience of the difficulties resultant from 
a contrary state of affairs would be quite sufficient to impress 
upon any one the advantages of having a united feeling as to 
the work to be undertaken. A union of forces means strength, 
while division too often results in failure. 

And this need not be thought an intolerant position for 
the Church to assume, for the support given to one society 
docs not necessarily mean antagonism to the other. Far 
from it. The Church's attitude is always liberal, and both 
claimants can have, her sanction, though one may be worked 
as a central branch, receiving support from neighbouring 
districts ; whilst the other, as has been pointed out, may be 
only represented in that particular parish by a parochial 
secretary, who gathers up the gleanings to pass them on to a 
branch elsewhere. In this way the whole ground is covered, 
now by one society, and now by another ; whilst even those 
who cannot throw themselves into the movement which is 
strongest in their own special parish, are by this method of 
organization given the opportunity of helping where they 
more entirely sympathize, and so are incorporated in the 
work of the rural deanery. Take as illustrations the great 
missionary societies, the Church Missionary Society and the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. These are to be 
found in every diocese in the kingdom, but one parish sup- 
ports the Church Missionary Society, and another the Society 
for the Propagation of the Gospel ; and yet no one is coerced, 
for, in the Church Missionary Society parish for example, 
those who prefer the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel have the opportunity of supporting it through the 
parochial secretary, who forwards their contributions of 
money or work to the ruri-decanal secretary, by whom it 
is added to that received from the other more distinctly 
S.P.G. parishes in the rural deanery over which she presides, 
and passed on to the central office of the society. Other 
religious bodies organize in other ways by means of associa- 
tions, committees, and so forth, and great and valuable work 
is done by them ; but inasmuch as their organization is 
not territorial, there is not the same security that the whole 

1 1 6 Womaris Mission. 

ground will be covered, and so far as they are independent 
in character there is not quite the same guarantee of 
harmony in the work or in the objects aimed at, though it 
must be admitted frankly that no system is perfect unless 
the instruments are also perfect. 

In endeavouring, then, to picture the religious and philan- 
thropic work done by women, it will be best to mention first 
that which is common to most dioceses. This can only be 
done somewhat generally, as the work repeats itself again 
and again in each new field, and an ampler description would 
be but wearisome. It will perhaps give vividness if we select 
a definite area, and picture what is being done in some one 
parish which may be taken as typical of others, since the bulk 
of women's work is probably humble, unrecorded work of this 
nature. It is impossible completely to separate them, and it 
must not be concluded that what is spoken of as parochial 
does not extend beyond ; where there is life there is growth, 
and what has taken root in one spot will be grafted on else- 
where, and ultimately grow and cover the land. 

Dealing, then, with work which is carried out on the lines 
of Church organization as already described, we must first 
mention the women's branches of the large societies for 
Foreign and Home Missions, all of which aim at being 
represented in every parish in the kingdom. 

The Church Missionary Society has no fewer than eight 
hundred and fifty associations worked by women, who yearly 
raise the large sum of .31,000 for carrying on the work abroad. 
Similarly, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel is 
^enabled by the help of women in England to educate upwards 
of five thousand of their less fortunate sisters in foreign parts ; 
whilst at home the women's branches of the two societies 
which support additional clergy for evangelization in the 
denser and more difficult parishes of our own land, are doing 
equally good work. There is hardly a diocese without a 
ladies' branch of the Additional Curates, or the Church 
Pastoral Aid, Societies ; and soon, it is hoped, they will 
be represented everywhere. The main object for which 
these societies enlist the help of women is to gain funds, 
obtain volunteers for carrying on their work, and to stimulate 
and spread an interest in it. This is the case also with the 

Work in connection with the Church. 1 1 7 

Church of England " Waifs and Strays Society " the workers 
of which are similarly organized on the lines of the parish 
and rural deanery. Women not only work for this society as 
collectors, they enter into its actual management in the care 
of the homes in which the reclaimed waifs and strays are 
sheltered, educated, and trained to earn their livelihood. 
Thousands of children who would otherwise be on the 
streets, or drift into crime, are thus rescued, boarded out in 
cottages, emigrated, or gathered into homes, and there taught 
household work, knitting, printing, and so forth ; and thus 
fitted to become self-supporting citizens. Three other agencies 
must be mentioned here as specially availing themselves of 
the help of Church organization in their endeavour to spread 
throughout the land. The Women's Help Society, the Mothers' 
Union, and the Girls' Friendly Society, all aim at having 
workers in each parish ; these associated again in groups 
under what are known as branch secretaries ; lastly, under 
diocesan presidents and vice-presidents. The workers in 
all three must be members of the Church of England, though 
this stipulation does not extend to those enrolled. The two 
first-named must be under the direction and sanction of the 
parochial clergy ; the constitution of the Girls' Friendly 
Society does not convey a like obligation. The object of all 
three is a similar one, to bring about a better and purer life ; 
but they seek it in slightly different ways. The special point 
to commend in the Women's Help Society is, that it is a dis- 
tinctly parochial agency, and seeks to band the women of the 
parish, young and old, married and single, in one common 
endeavour after a higher life, one society embracing all. The 
Mothers' Union seeks to enlist those who have the care of 
children in a determination to shelter them from evil of all 
sorts, and lead and guide them into right ways. This can be 
incorporated and worked as a branch of the Women's Help 
Society. The Girls' Friendly Society works solely amongst 
the young and unmarried, and has one clearly defined object, 
the maintenance of purity. It is perhaps the most conspicuous 
illustration of women's work among us, as it was originated by 
a lady, is entirely managed and worked by women for the help 
of their own sex, and has branches in quite half the parishes of 
England, besides spreading to the Continent and our colonies. 

JiS Woman's Mission. 

Other agencies which are more than parochial, because 
needing more general support than could be given by any 
one parish, such as penitentiaries, refuges, sisterhoods, and 
deaconesses' institutions, are to be found in the majority of 
English dioceses ; no less than thirty having one or more 
penitentiaries, and twenty-three supporting houses of refuge. 
In all these the workers are women, who devote themselves 
to the rescue of their fallen sisters by seeking them out in 
their own homes, in hospitals, in workhouses, in police courts, 
and in the public streets. The Church Penitentiary Associa- 
tion devotes itself chiefly to the maintenance of houses of 
mercy and refuges ; the Church Mission to the Fallen is, as 
its name implies, engaged in combating vice in its strong- 
holds, in holding mission services, and in direct mission 
work. The Female Mission to the Fallen combines both, 
and supports mission houses as well as working among the 
fallen. It is difficult to arrive at any estimate of the good 
work done by their means. Some idea may be gathered, 
however, from the fact that the penitentiaries and refuges 
alone contain accommodation for upwards of seven thousand 
women, and that there are worked in connection with them 
other agencies, such as convalescent homes, training homes, 
inebriate homes, and so forth, to which special cases are 
drafted for special assistance. 

Forming a link between the general diocesan work and 
the more distinctly parochial, come the sisterhoods and 
deaconesses' institutions, the object of both being to train 
for, and employ in, parish and mission work women who 
can devote their lives to such a purpose. The comprehensive 
term " Home Mission Work " best describes the direction of 
their efforts ; but it must be understood in its very widest 
sense, as it includes visiting the poor, nursing the sick, 
establishing dispensaries, convalescent homes, cottage hos- 
pitals, homes of rest, schools, orphanages, industrial homes, 
nurseries, penitentiaries, refuges, night shelters, laundries, 
workrooms, class work, cheap dinners and teas in time of 
distress, besides mission work and ordinary parochial work. 
The sisterhoods and deaconesses' institutions are mostly 
diocesan in their character of training institutions ; but they 
are parochial in their application, the workers when trained 

Work in connection with the Church. 119 

undertaking the charge of certain parishes in which to visit 
and carry on their works of mercy. The deaconesses, after a 
careful training in the diocesan institution, are set apart for 
their work by the Bishop of the diocese from whom they hold 
a licence ; they are to work under the control and sanction 
of the clergy. The sisterhoods are more independent in 
their character, not confining themselves to any particular 
diocese, nor always feeling it necessary to seek the Bishop's 
sanction before invading one. 

Attached similarly to a particular diocese, but not limit- 
ing its benefits thereto, are the various institutions for the 
care of the sick and suffering. Twenty-one dioceses are 
provided with nursing institutions with a permanent staff of 
nurses, numbering jointly between eight hundred and one 
thousand. These go freely among the sick poor, giving 
them the benefit of their skill, and, when not needed thus, 
may be obtained by the rich on payment of the usual fees. 
Cottage hospitals are equally numerous, and so are con- 
valescent homes, and although in some cases the committee 
of management maybe a mixed committee, and the secretary 
a gentleman, they may fairly come within the scope of our 
consideration, since all the actual work of nursing and so 
forth is carried on by women. It would not be correct to 
claim a monopoly of such work on behalf of the Church, and 
the extreme impossibility of separating what is Church work 
and what is not Church work under this head, puts definite 
statistics out of the question. Nursing is essentially a 
woman's work. From the highest to the lowest it has been 
recognized as such, our Queen and Royal Princesses setting 
the women of England a noble example in the interest they 
have taken in this provision for the relief of suffering. The 
Princess Christian is president of the Rural Nursing Associa- 
tion, a scheme for supplying the rural parts of England with 
nurses, by the establishment of local centres in the small 
towns where a few may reside, and from which railway 
communication is sufficiently easy to enable them to cover 
a large area of neighbouring villages. In epidemics one 
centre can lend nurses to another, and thus a smaller number 
is needed to cover the ground. In certain cases their 
services are free, but a moderate scale of payments has been 

I2O Woman s Mission. 

arranged for such as can afford it, farmers and tradesmen, 
so that the local centres may be to a degree self-supporting. 

But let us turn to the more frequent aspect of Church 
work as seen in the life and working of a parish. Where 
shall we look for an example ? 

The centre of English life and civilization, London, that 
great capital in which poverty and wealth, fashion and philan- 
thropy alike congregate, first rises to our minds as likely to 
supply the most varied material combined with the greatest 
vigour and the most complete organization. 

But on reflection, it will be admitted that London is too 
big, that its very size prevents coherence of work, and that 
its conditions of life are not sufficiently varied to give a fair 
illustration of what is being done over the whole of England. 

" Not sufficiently varied ? " it may be asked, ' when star- 
vation jostles wealth, when ignorance and crime live side 
by side with cultivated intellects, when every shade of 
religious opinion and every form of religious worship finds 
a home there ! Not sufficiently varied ? What could be 
more so?" Yes, too varied in one way and yet not suffi- 
ciently varied in another ; for it must not be forgotten that 
though the tendency of English life undoubtedly is to be- 
come less and less agricultural, and to congregate more and 
more in towns, there yet remains a large rural population, 
quite distinct from anything London can show, and living 
under totally different conditions. Besides these, there are 
the sailors and seamen, the fishers on our coasts, and a large 
nomadic population, consisting of canal boatmen and bargees, 
whose lives are spent in passing from place to place ; and in 
addition a larger number still, a whole army of men, known 
as navvies, who have no fixed habitation, but move from spot 
to spot, settling for a time only where work requires to be 
done. Though samples of these may be found in London, 
and now and again in other great towns, they are not 
characteristic of town but of country life ; and therefore a 
picture which should combine all the features of women's 
work in the Old Country must be one which is rural as well 
as urban in its area. Its very greatness makes London ex- 
ceptional, and deprives it of the honour of being completely 
typical of English life. 

Work in connection with the Church. 121 

For a fair combination of town and country life we must 
go to the north. Nowhere else do we find the two so 
adequately represented. In the south of England, 'London, 
like a huge magnet, attracts trade to itself. In the north, the 
presence of coal-fields and iron ensure the permanence of 
certain industries, and supply favourable conditions for the 
prosecution of others, which therefore are established and 
carried on near these sources of their motive power. Added 
to this, some of the wildest regions of country life, some 
of the remotest spots, where the whistle of the railway and 
the whirr of the telegraph-wire is never heard, are to be found 
in the northern counties of England ; so that we have here a 
population composed both of mechanics and agriculturists, 
of mill-hands and of children of the soil, among whom are 
interspersed those classes common to all parts, whose business 
it is to supply the necessaries of life to their toiling brothers 
and sisters, and who are best described as the trading class ; 
whilst scattered about the lovely dales and broadening valleys 
of the North are noble country seats, or humbler shooting 
boxes, in which, for a portion of the year at least, are to be 
found the wealthy and the aristocratic. Here are needs and 
here are resources, amongst which Englishwomen work ; how 
can they make one minister to the other ? 

Let us imagine a representative parish with its church 
and one or more clergy as the case may be, and a popu- 
lation of some ten or fifteen thousand, with an almost 
equal acreage bordering on a country town, nay, including 
part of it, thick with mills and factories. This is not an 
uncommon state of things ; there are many such, probably 
districts which were originally large moors, with here and 
there a gamekeeper's house, a farm, and now and again the 
shooting box or country mansion, but upon which a huge 
town has grown up, attracted by some favourable conditions 
of its minerals, soil, or water. The Church sends her servant, 
but what can he do among so many over so wide an area ? 
He must neglect the work, or he must seek help ; and it is 
amongst the women of his flock that he will chiefly find it. 
Except in the actual ministry of the sanctuary there is 
hardly a department in which women cannot take their part. 

His first effort will be to know his people, to which end 

122 Woman s Mission. 

he will map out the whole of his parish into districts, and to 
each will assign a lady as district visitor ; her office entitling 
her to call at every house, to ascertain the circumstances and 
need of every parishioner, and to deal with them to the best 
of her power, either by reporting them to the clergy, or to 
the particular society or agency for good which devotes itself 
to such needs. But her work does not stop here. She 
will use her influence to persuade the parents to come to 
church, to send their children to school ; she will explain 
to them the meaning of Baptism, and as often as not will 
stand sponsor for the little ones. She will notice their 
material needs, and encourage wise thrift by the establish- 
ment of blanket, coal, and maternity clubs, the principle of 
which is to add a bonus when the parents' pence have reached 
a certain amount, and so enable them in time of need to 
command a sum sufficient to be of real service for the supply 
of their wants. 

And she will also notice their moral needs. There is 
hardly a parish in which a mothers' meeting is not held, pre- 
sided over by a lady who reads some helpful book, whilst the 
women sew garments, which they can afterwards buy for the 
cost of the material. In this way an influence is gained, and 
the opportunity secured of talking over many home diffi- 
culties, of learning from the experience of others, and of 
hearing words of wise counsel and help from the lady who 
conducts the meeting. 

The care of children and of the home forms a natural 
topic upon which to dwell, and in connection with these 
mothers' meetings there is usually established a branch of 
the Mothers' Union, a society whose object is to band the 
women of England together in a united effort to raise the 
tone of the home, and to fulfil more conscientiously the duties 
of motherhood in the training of their children. A truly 
woman's work, originated by a woman and carried on 
amongst women by women, which, though humble and 
unostentatious in its character, is perhaps one of the most 
valuable agencies for good in our land, since it seeks to cleanse 
the fountain at its spring rather than stem the torrent of evil 
when it has grown to full flood. If we may believe the 
cynical saying that " Woman sits at the fount of life and 

Work in connection with the Church. 123 

poisons all its springs," we shall readily see what a power for 
good rests with the mothers of England in a persistent 
united effort to train their children in the way of righteousness. 

This thought of the home life leads naturally to the 
school life of the children, and here again we find the women 
of England working in concert with the Church. The 
parochial machinery would not be complete without the 
Sunday school, where the children are gathered week by 
week, to be instructed by lady volunteers, and then marshalled 
to service in the church itself. Not only are they there kept 
profitably employed throughout the holy day, but they learn 
lessons which influence their whole lives. The testimony of 
prison chaplains, and those who work amongst the fallen and 
degraded, is most striking as to the great value and lasting 
nature of this very unobtrusive part of women's work. 

But sickness may enter the home, and here again woman 
finds her mission. The district visitor first learns the trouble, 
she carries the news to the clergyman, and obtains such relief 
as the Church can afford, either by gifts of money, coal, beef- 
tea, blankets, or the assistance of a trained nurse, belonging 
either to the parish or the Rural Nursing Association. It is 
increasingly general for each parish, or for a combination of 
small neighbouring parishes, to support a district nurse, and 
these devoted women well deserve a notice here. Many of 
them fulfil the double office of Bible woman or Evangelist, 
and nurse (the Church Army trains and supplies such), and 
it has been found that women can often obtain an entry and 
an influence where the clergyman fails. The fact that some 
earn their living in such work need not rob them of their due 
meed of honour, for " the labourer is worthy of his hire." 

Besides these more constant forms of parochial work, 
there comes now and again a need of money for some special 
object, the church fabric, the schools, a new mission-room, 
for the relief of the poor in very severe winters, for our 
soldiers in time of war ; and it is through women the help 
will be obtained. Thousands of penny and even halfpenny 
dinners are prepared every winter for the relief of starving 
children, whilst hundreds of flannel garments were made by 
ladies for the use of our soldiers in the late war in the 
Soudan. Women are excellent and most successful beggars, 

124 Woman s Mission. 

and such ways of raising money as sales of work, bazaars, 
etc., naturally belong to their department of life. As money- 
raisers there is scarcely a branch of Church work from 
which they are excluded ; whilst who shall tell of the 
thousands of private benevolences carried on by Church- 
women ? One will at her own cost support a convalescent 
home for a parish in which she is interested ; another will 
erect and endow almshouses ; another make substantial dona- 
tions towards the parochial charitable funds, or continue 
small yearly pensions to special cases. All these, and such 
as these, must remain for ever unchronicled, and unestimatcd, 
amongst the work of English Churchwomen. 

In the decoration of our churches at special seasons, 
Easter, Harvest, and Christmas, they also take a large and 
active part ; whilst the permanent adornment of churches with 
costly and beautiful embroideries becomes not only a pleasure 
but a work of philanthropy, when, as is most often the case, 
it is supplied from sisterhoods and penitentiaries where it pro- 
vides a livelihood for the women who, through sin and misfor- 
tune, have dropped out of the highway of life. In some cases 
repositories for the sale of painting and needlework have 
been opened for the express purpose of enabling gentle- 
women, and the wives and daughters of poor clergy, thus to 
add to their slender means. In many rural districts the 
training of the choir, and the playing of the organ, is under- 
taken by a lady or the village schoolmistress. 

But in the parish we have supposed, there are large 
factories and mills in which whole families find work, even 
the children earning something as soon as the School Board 
allows them to become "half-timers," so that here at least 
the pinch of poverty is not felt. Is there work for women 
here? Yes, much for those whose eyes are opened to see 
the need ; not in the way of pecuniary relief, but of social 
improvement, intellectual and moral training, and spiritual 

The dinner-hour can be used for reading to the mill-hands, 
and influence can be brought to bear upon the mill-owner to 
provide (where this is not already done) an airy, wholesome, 
room in which the dinners can be enjoyed. In cases where 
women can only earn very low wages for piece-work, the 

Work in connection with the Church. 125 

Church has not thought it outside her province to provide for 
them a common work-room, to organize them, and in the 
person of some lady worker undertake on their behalf large 
Government contracts for work at a better price than they 
could command individually. By moving thus amongst 
them, many can be induced to join the Women's Help, or 
the Girls' Friendly, Society, and an evening club with its 
recreation-room and classes can be started. Since Miss 
Maude Stanley so successfully organized a girls' club for the 
shop-girls of London, the value of such clubs has been recog- 
nized, and they are multiplying rapidly. They are often the 
only way in which an influence can be gained over young girls, 
who, alas ! are sadly too independent. The moment they get 
to the mill and find they can earn enough for their own 
support, they fling off all restraint ; and it is not an uncom- 
mon thing to find that a girl has left her home and taken 
lodgings for herself, because of some trifling discomfort, or 
because her parent has presumed to find fault with her. One 
trembles to think of her future with only the streets, or cheap 
places of entertainment, for her means of recreation after 
work is over. The club provides a shelter, a meeting-ground 
for friends, and by means of classes and the intercourse of 
ladies, who freely spend their evenings among the girls, 
an ideal of a higher life. That this is no baseless dream is 
evidenced by the change that comes over the club members. 
The growth of their own self-respect is proved by their 
changed demeanour, by their more tidy attire ; and if one 
should relapse into lower ways, her consciousness that she 
has sunk below what she might have been, is shown by her 
voluntary withdrawal from club membership. Here again is 
a large field of women's work of which no record exists, and 
of which no statistics are possible. 

But a mother is in trouble about her daughter ; she has 
fallen among bad companions, and it seems desirable to 
remove her from her present surroundings. The girl has a 
wish to go abroad, but she has no means of obtaining 
a livelihood. The mother talks it over with the district 
visitor, who tells her friends of the case, and by interesting 
the squire and the richer parishioners obtains from them the 
funds to send the girl to a training home for a while, where 

126 Woman's Mission. 

she will be fitted for domestic service. When ready for her 
journey, she is protected on the way through the agency of 
women. The Travellers' Aid Society will send a lady to 
meet her as she steps from the train, will conduct her to a 
shelter for the night ; the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Church 
Emigration Society will assist her with her passage and 
provide a matron to care for her and others on the voyage ; 
or if she be a member of the Girls' Friendly Society, she will 
derive like benefits from its protecting care. Even after 
arrival in the new land she is not cast adrift, but is watched 
over until suitably placed, and even then is kept in touch 
with the old home by means of the post. The Girls' Letter 
Guild is doing a good work in this way. Ladies joining the 
Guild undertake to write to one or more girls at home or 
abroad once a month. This gives them the sense that they 
are not unfriended in the world, and a word may often thus 
be spoken in season. It has been found that they greatly 
value these letters, and willingly confide their troubles and 
difficulties to " their ladies," who acquire thus a valuable 
influence for good over those whom perhaps they have never 
seen. This is a work which can be carried on by women 
whose health precludes them from undertaking any more 
active service for their Church. 

But the more rural parts of the parish must not be neg- 
lected. There we find the small farmers' and the game- 
keepers' cottages scattered over the moors. What can be 
done for them ? Clubs and classes are of little use, for they 
could not attend them ; the distances would be too great. 
Personal interest and frequent visits are necessary to obtain 
an influence. Then the women may be induced to join one 
of those societies for maintaining a higher ideal of life which 
have been already mentioned, membership in which gives a 
reason for gathering them together for an occasional tea, or 
periodical work meeting, at which some lady from another 
parish will come and give them an address upon the obliga- 
tions which rest upon them in the care of their own children 
and of the inmates of their household. The maintenance of a 
higher standard of purity is a direction in which work in the 
rural districts is sorely needed. A curious system still exists 
in the north of England of hiring farm servants by the year. 

Work in connection with the Church. 127 

The "hirings" occur in May or November, when lads and 
lasses flock to the neighbouring market town, and stand in 
the market-place much like cattle, waiting to be hired. The 
farmers come round and pick out one and another, paying 
them there and then a portion of their year's wages as a sort 
of retaining fee. The occasion is made a general holiday, a 
fair or show not infrequently visiting the town at the "hirings," 
and two or three days are spent in enjoyment by these young 
people before entering their new service. It is easy to see 
into what temptations they are thus thrown. By the efforts 
of earnest Churchwomen, rooms are now provided in which 
the girls may wait, and every persuasion is being used to 
destroy the prejudice of farmers and their wives in favour of 
the older method of selection. A mission-woman, who attends 
fairs to draw the attention of local authorities to any dis- 
graceful exhibitions and to prevent the sale of degrading 
literature, has done much to purify these gatherings. Similar 
special work, in which women have their share, is undertaken 
by the Church in the south of England among the hop- 
pickers and harvesters ; while the valuable work done by 
Miss Daniell and Miss Robinson among the soldiers, and 
by Miss Weston among the sailors, must not be forgotten. 
In both, the post affords a valuable ally, the circulation of 
the monthly letters among the sailors amounting to about 
500,000 ; whilst Bible classes, temperance and social meetings, 
homes of rest, industrial work-rooms, and free registry offices 
for the wives and widows, flourish and abound. Women also 
take their part in the special missions to the Jews, of whom 
many are to be found at the centres of industrial and com- 
mercial life. 

We have seen how English Churchwomen may minister in 
the parish, in the schools, among the homes of the poor, in 
the care of the churches, to the workers in mills and factories, 
and to the farming class ; but what about the rich ? Is there 
any opening for them here ? Any work for them to do ? 
Yes, much. There are as kindly hearts amongst the rich as 
may be found in other ranks ; but the cares of this life, the 
deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things, enter into 
their hearts and make them unfruitful. " Evil is wrought by 
want of thought as well as want of heart." How true it is ! 

128 Woman s Mission. 

Any influence, therefore, that can bring the rich more into 
touch with the poor, and with their dependents, is most 
valuable, and this is done by women in thousands of ways. 
Nothing so awakens the heart as doing a kindness, and the 
fact of living among the people brings many an opportunity 
before the rich and leisured class. It is comparatively easy 
to give of their wealth, and without them few of the orphanages, 
refuges, convalescent homes, hospitals, and so forth, could be 
supported ; but more valuable by far is their own individual 
work. The Church seeks to obtain such. The sense of 
parochial life is very strong, and tends to foster a sort of 
proprietary right in the necessitous of the parish ; and when 
invited to give help, the claim is readily recognized and 
admitted. The work may not be so constant, so regular, or 
so devoted, as that of those who can say, " This one thing 
I do," but it is not to be despised on that account. A casual 
visit to a country house might leave the impression that the 
lives of the rich and of the poor are very clearly separated ; a 
longer sojourn, and a more intimate acquaintance, would 
reveal unexpected self-sacrifice and quiet devotion to the 
good of others. To undertake a district, the conduct of a 
mothers' meeting, or any work which necessitates a constant 
attendance, is not easy for those whose lives are not tied to 
one spot ; but there are other ways of helping. The Letter 
Guild has been already spoken of, and is much appreciated 
by the lonely lives of those in domestic service and in shops. 
It is valued also as a means of caring for the insane after 
they have been discharged from asylums, for even these poor 
afflicted ones are not forgotten by a Church who, like her 
Lord, seeks to be ever doing good. The sick and suffering 
also are thus cheered by a society calling themselves " Watchers 
and Workers," and which is said to find its parallel on the 
other side of the Atlantic in the " Shut-ups." Like the pen, 
the needle may be plied in any spot. Needlework guilds 
are popular and useful among the leisured class. By their 
means enormous numbers of plain garments are contributed 
for distribution amongst poor parishes, hospitals, industrial 
homes, etc., whilst such a gift to the poor over-pressed parson 
is indeed a god-send. Much Christian kindness is often 
shown by the rich towards the clergy a class frequently 

Work in connection with the Church. 129 

needing as much as, but more difficult to help than, the poor. 
If offered sympathetically and privately, they will gladly 
accept clothing which the exigencies of fashion cause the 
wealthy to discard, whilst still too good for the maid or the 
valet. They may also be helped by the establishment of a 
Diocesan Holiday Fund, of a home of rest by the sea, of a 
pension fund for the time when sickness or old age shall lay 
them on one side, and of schools where their children can be 
educated on lower terms ; or more simply and more easily 
the rich can confer upon them an enormous boon by giving 
them the privilege of spending a fortnight at their country 
houses, whilst they themselves flock up to London for the 

In many large houses a practice is made of entertaining 
an overworked nurse, or district visitor, until her strength is 
recruited, and in some the lodge is utilized permanently for 
such a worthy purpose. Many homes are also partly sup- 
ported by the gifts of the rich in which governesses and 
ladies earning their own living can reside at a low cost. 

But in educational efforts, perhaps, the rich and cultured 
class find more natural scope. An association peculiar to 
the north of England, called the Ladies' Council of Education, 
gives a wonderful picture of the multifarious ways in which 
educated women can work for and assist their less favoured 
sisters. Affiliated with them, and akin to them, is what 
is known as the Northern Union of Domestic Economy, 
mentioned here because the Church does not disdain to look 
upon such homely subjects as cookery, laundry, and dairy 
classes, as worthy her support. The Parents' National Educa- 
tional Union also owes its origin to the North. Its effort is 
to bring before parents of all classes the most rational 
methods of training and rearing children under four heads, 
the physical, the mental, the moral, and the religious aspects 
of life. It was originated by a lady, and though not limited 
to women or to Church members, it is worked by both. 

Time fails to tell of all the branches of Church work in 
which the women of England are associated. We have tried 
to touch upon a few, and lightly sketch some of the work 
which is being done in every parish of England ; but how 
shall we estimate its magnitude ? Of quiet home work such 


130 Woman s Mission. 

as this it is impossible to give statistics, since no general 
records of what is done are obtainable. Some slight idea 
may be gathered when we realize that in almost every parish 
of England and there are between fourteen and fifteen 
thousand parishes there are to be found ladies, or paid agents, 
or both, engaged in one or other of the good works we have 
touched upon. A noble army, if we allow only the moderate 
estimate of one or two to every parish ; too low an average, 
doubtless, when we remember that many town parishes 
number some thirty or more as workers. 

From whatever point we look at the work from the 
aspect of the ground covered, or that of the numerous and 
varied agencies employed, or that of the number of workers, 
or of the character of the help given, or if we seek to estimate 
the results achieved we must be struck by its breadth and 
comprehensiveness ; embracing as it does every rank and 
class, seeking to gather and utilize from each that special 
form of help which the circumstances of life best fit each to 
give, and applying them to every form of need, physical, 
mental, moral, and spiritual. Truly, woman may be a 
ministering angel in the world when following the steps of 
Him who " went about doing good." 



Hon. Org. Sec. National Union of Women Workers. 

" The Unity which we now demand, whether in theory or life, is no longer 
the pseudo-unity of external arrangement, as in a machine, but the inward unity 
of a living whole." " Science and the Faith," by Aubrey Moore. Introduction, 
p. xxix. 

AMONG the most striking phenomena of the nineteenth 
century, the social historian will, surely number the universal 
recourse to machinery. Not only is there a revival of 
primitive usages and of the methods of the mediaeval Church, 
but Societies, "Armies," Leagues, Unions, Committees, and 
" movements " innumerable testify to a keen sense of dis-, 
content with existing conditions of life and thought. 

The effect to the unprejudiced observer is somewhat^ 
bewildering. We ask ourselves whether the result may not 
be to increase our unrealities and divisions; whether the 
sense of individual responsibility is not lessened by these 
opportunities for the charity which can be exercised by 
deputy and by the drawing of cheques ; whether we may not 
be raising a new tyranny in which the voices of the more 
thoughtful will be drowned by the clamour of the fanatical 
and half-instructed ; whether any number of guilds, with 
cards and rules, will draw rich and poor together, or give 
the inspiration to a higher life, which is needed by rich and 
poor alike. These more or less artificial combinations, do 
they testify to an underlying reality ? May we throw our- 
selves into this tendency of our age, and trust that we are 
following the guidance of One " who is not far from any one 

132 Woman s Mission. 

of us," but is evolving a better order out of this seeming 
confusion ? 

We stand between the past and the future. If we would 
work well in the present, our theories must have a scientific 
basis of carefully considered facts. Then, having well 
thought out our generalizations, we should be prepared to 
give a reason for our choice of methods, and have courage 
and patience in the inevitable slowness of sound progress, as 

" The old order changeth, yielding place to new." 

" Facts," says Emerson, " are the angels of the Lord " 
angels for guidance, angels also of warning. Let us, then, 
endeavour to learn something of the ways in which English- 
women are working in associated effort to bring religious 
principle, womanly pity, and the higher culture, to bear upon 
the perplexing problems of latter-day civilization, in order 
that we may judge to some extent how far they are success- 
ful in dealing with poverty and vice, how far they are raising 
public opinion on crucial questions, how far they are spread- 
ing " sweetness and light " among an ignorant and Philistine 

It would be impossible, in the compass of one brief paper, 
to attempt the barest enumeration of the many bodies of 
associated women workers in Great Britain and her colonies. 
An approximately accurate list is given in the pages of " The 
Englishwoman's Year Book." It is enough for us to say 
that the religious and philanthropic work of Englishwomen 
covers every department of human life, every phase of 
human need. English women workers come from every 
rank and class from our own Royal Princesses, from women 
of high degree, from graduates of our ancient universities, 
down to the toil-worn factory-girl who rises at five in the 
morning that she may do her house-work and sewing, and 
be free to spend her evenings in unpaid labour for her poorer 
sisters. Every Church, every congregation, has its band of 
workers, Anglican and Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Con- 
gregationalist, Wesleyan, Salvationist a mighty army of 
untold number, " the great reserve force of humanity," whose 
desire and aim is to help on all that makes for righteousness. 
Surely this is a great fact. Surely the statesman, the 

On Associated Work. 133 

philanthropist, the reformer, the theologian, will find here a 
matter of deep concern, and see to it that this incalculable 
force has its due place in the thickening struggle for human 

Let us give precedence to the oldest organized bodies of 
women workers among us. Let us think for a moment of the 
memories clustering round the names of St. Theresa, of St. 
Catharine of Siena, of religious orders like that of St. Vincent 
de Paul. They are among us now, these Sisters of Mercy, 
Sisters of Charity, Nuns of the Good Shepherd, Faithful 
Companions of Jesus, and members of other religious orders, 
some three thousand in number in England and Scotland, 
who, with unswerving fidelity to their traditions, teach the 
poor, the orphan, the blind, and the deaf and dumb, and tend 
the sick, the convalescent, and the insane. If, as one shrewd 
observer calculates, but one in ten of the members of a sister- 
hood is competent to do more than carry out directions given 
by the organizing head, the remaining nine-tenths being 
unfit even for so much as that without incessant supervision 
and advice, one can but admire the more the results 
gained by continuity and rule. The educational standard of 
the Loretto Nuns is of the highest ; the care of the aged 
poor by " The Little Sisters " worthy of all praise ; and the 
industrial and reformatory schools managed by other sister- 
hoods satisfy even our Government inspectors, men who 
know nor fear nor favour. It is evident that each sisterhood 
must have a due proportion of women with force of character, 
mental power, and capacity for rule ; that, in community 
life, the average woman can be trained to much usefulness ; 
and that, far from offering a dreary uniformity of experience, 
it affords scope for great diversity of operations and for the 
development of individual gifts. 

But these sisterhoods are more or less exotic among us. 
The Church of England, instead of applying correction and 
direction, suppressed the religious orders at the Reformation. 
" No fact in modern history is more deeply to be deplored," 
says Mr. Lecky,* who is not to be suspected of any ecclesias- 
tical bias. The woman of Puritan times was often heroic, 
like Lady Rachel Russell or Mrs. Hutchinson ; or saintly, like 

* Lecky's " History of European Morals," vol. ii. p. 370. 

134 Woman s Mission. 

Margaret Godolphin or Margaret Baxter. A parson's wife, 
as portrayed by George Herbert, might dress the sores and 
wounds of the poor folk of her husband's parish ; a bishop's 
wife, like Elizabeth Burnet, might establish charity-schools 
and spend four-fifths of her income on the poor ; and a knot 
of good women, "the Protestant Nuns "of Little Gidding, 
might lead a retired and consecrated life ; later on, in the 
eighteenth century, a Susannah Wesley might show how the 
duty of a housewife and a mother was compatible with a 
larger care for the men and women about her ; but the con- 
ception of religion and duty for two centuries was mainly 
that of home and neighbourhood, with little outlook beyond. 
Education was limited, locomotion difficult, but the towns 
were smaller, and there was less separation of class from 
class, though social grades were very distinctly marked. 

It needed the shock of the Evangelical revival to draw 
women from their sheltered homes to teach in Sunday 
schools, like Hannah More and Mrs. Trimmer ; to visit 
prisons, like Sarah Martin and Elizabeth Fry ; to become 
collectors for the support of foreign missions, and of the Bible 
Society ; to become " class-leaders " in the meetings of the 
Methodists, and tract-distributors on behalf of both Church 
and Chapel. It was the closer knowledge thus gained of the 
home life of the poor which led to the establishment of 
Dorcas-meetings to sew garments for the destitute, and of 
sick-visiting societies to give them beef-tea and spiritual 
consolation. The conversion of the individual was the main 
point in the minds of the followers of Whitefield and Wesley ; 
of Newton, Cecil, and "the Clapham sect." Women like 
Lady Huntingdon were as "mothers in Israel;" the stir of 
a deepened life touched the great English middle and working 
classes ; and zeal for the conversion of souls was mingled 
with compassion for the misery of the prisoner and captive, 
and for the lot of the negro in our West Indian possessions. 
The outlook had widened. 

Yet another stream of tendency may be traced to the 
later revival associated with the names of Dr. Pusey and of 
Keble, of Dr. Neale and Isaac Williams. Men's minds turned 
back to " the ages of faith." Poetry, art, fiction, a quickened 
admiration for the architecture of the Middle Ages, all tended 

On Associated Work. 135 

to increase the strong desire felt for " the religious life," not 
only in daily services and frequent communions, but in the 
entire dedication of body, soul, and spirit, to the service of 
God, in contemplation and active duty. Many thought their 
ideal incompatible with ordinary life. No "brotherhood " has 
as yet been successfully formed, but the sisterhoods of the 
Anglican Church are a very important factor in its economy. 
They are now twenty-nine in number, each mother-house 
being the head-quarters of a numerous band of workers. They 
have sought their model in various quarters, and their rules 
are diverse. In some instances the sisters are individually 
blessed and received into the order by the Bishop of the 
diocese ; others are more conventual and self-contained. 
Besides the home mission work in the streets and lanes of 
our cities, in orphanages, schools, hospitals, penitentiaries, in 
rescue work and in nursing, four sisterhoods work in India, 
three in the United States, and one at Cape Town. Clewer 
alone has two hundred sisters, and has helped to establish 
an independent sisterhood in New York ; while the great 
community of All Saints, Margaret Street, London, has 
founded a "coloured" sisterhood in Baltimore, U.S. ; and the 
sisters of Bethany, a mission to the Nestorian Christians in 
Persia. Thus they stretch out hands of love to East and 
West, content to serve in lowliest ways as handmaids of the 
Church and of humanity. 

The order established at Kilburn in the north of London, 
and known as " The Sisters of the Church," owes its place in 
popular affection very largely to the fact that it systematically 
takes the public behind the scenes, as month by month it 
tells what it is doing in a little paper entitled Our Work. 
Wonderful work it is, and wonderfully is the interest felt in 
it sustained. The sisters are full of resource, ready to sell 
old clothes and old books, or to trudge through miry streets 
to sell penny portions of soup and halfpenny slices of 
pudding to the unfortunate men who stand in hundreds 
round the docks and wharves by the Thames, while waiting, 
too often in vain, for employment. You may see them again 
at Broadstairs, the breezy little place on the Kentish coast 
with its quaint pier, dear to Charles Dickens and to us for 
his sake. There they are with their three hundred sickly 

136 Woman s Jl fission. 

little ones, many of them cripples with a strong likeness to 
"Tiny Tim," who drink in lessons of love and goodness, as 
well as pure air, in the bright Convalescent Home with its 
wide verandah which stands on the top of the chalk cliffs. 
Again you may find them in London slums teaching poor 
women to help themselves by giving them work to do, and 
fair pay for doing it. Under the burning sky of Madras they 
teach "our poor relations," the Eurasians. At home their 
orphans, drawn from the very lowest and poorest class, are 
"mothered" until they are twenty-one, and after that are 
sent out well taught and trained to earn their living as 
servants, as elementary school teachers, or as assistant- 
matrons in the sixty houses belonging to the sisterhood. It 
needs much money to support their five orphanages, thirteen 
day schools, three convalescent homes, and eleven other 
branches of educational work, and there is no endowment. 
The sisters give of their private means to the last penny, and 
they are helped by the faithful. The work never slackens, 
is always growing, and never has to stop for lack of funds. 
Who can say that the age of faith is past? 

Some thirty years since a quiet movement was set going 
in the Anglican Church with the object of reviving the 
primitive order of deaconesses as a definite part of its system ; 
and at the present time there are eight bodies of Church 
deaconesses, working under the direction of their bishops in 
the dioceses of Ely, London, Rochester, Chester, Salisbury, 
and Winchester. Probationers, who must be educated women 
of undoubted character, receive thorough training in practical 
details, and due religious instruction, for at least two years. 
Then, if approved, they are set apart by the Bishop, to work 
in a parish whether in town or country, and are henceforth 
responsible solely to him and to their parish priest. They 
are thus a recognized " order " in the sacred ministry, with 
work as varied as the needs of the parish to which they go. 
The deaconess is very often a hospital-trained nurse, but she 
is also trained for " the cure of souls," and is very valuable as 
the recognized guide and leader of the voluntary helpers in 
woman's work in a parish. 

In the north of England, among the mining villages in 
the diocese of Durham, Canon Body's mission-ladies live, two 

On Associated Work. 137 

and two, among the people, in places where there is frequently 
no resident lady. The training they receive is very similar 
to that of the deaconesses, and they carry on the same kind 
of work, but without " ordination " or recognized status. 
When in receipt of a salary, it is usually from one-third to 
one-half of that ordinarily received by the assistant clergy, 
and is only sufficient for bare maintenance in humble lodgings. 

The order of St. Vincent de Paul still does true deaconess 
work in the Church of Rome. " They consist," says its Con- 
stitution, " of girls and of widows unencumbered with children, 
destined to seek out the poor in the alleys and streets of 
cities ; they have for monastery the houses of the sick ; for 
cell, a hired room ; for their chapel, the parish church ; for 
their cloister, the streets of the town or the wards of the 
hospital ; for their enclosure, obedience ; for grating, the fear 
of God ; for veil, holy modesty." 

There is room for the deaconess, the counterpart of the 
" sister of charity " in the Church of England, ample room 
for the ministry of women, as Church officials who will work 
loyally with those in authority. At present there is a great need 
of women as heads of training institutions to meet the 
demand of our English bishops for those who will begin this 
work for them. 

Undoubtedly our Anglican sisterhoods at first copied very 
much from Roman models, and were somewhat regardless 
of whether the rules and customs they adopted were archaic, 
or were modern innovations. Broadly speaking, the earlier 
orders in the mediaeval Church were formed on the model 
of the family, with deference and obedience due to the head, 
but with much regard to individuality. The model of the 
" counter- Reformation " was rather that of a regiment, in 
which each member is under strict discipline. Our Anglican 
sisterhoods have each their own " rule," conforming, more or 
less, to these varying types. This the world recognizes, so 
far as it knows anything of systems which do not thrust them- 
selves upon its observation. But what is not recognized is that 
some of the most intensely Protestant forms of community- 
life owe much in their inception to the Roman religious orders, 
even if they do not trace descent from them. Thus the 
Moravian sisters are lineally descended from the Franciscan 


8 Woman s Mission. 

Tertiaries of the Fourteenth Century, and Pastor Fliedner 
borrowed freely from them, from the B6guines, and the 
Society of St. Vincent de Paul in founding Kaiserwerth 
(in 1822), which now has its roll of eight thousand Protestant 
deaconesses working over the whole continent of Europe. 
No name on that roll is so dear to English-speaking folk as 
that of Florence Nightingale. " The Lady with the Lamp " 
at Scutari has never ceased to bring wise counsels to bear 
upon the reforms of our nursing system from her chamber of 
sickness. Our trained nurses, some twenty thousand in 
number, owe much to the stimulus of her example, and to 
her constant care for the work in which she first disciplined 
herself at Kaiserwerth. 

Kaiserwerth has one small branch in England, the un- 
denominational " Deaconess " Home at Tottenham, but we 
find in Mrs. Meredith's work for discharged prisoners and 
the children of female convicts, and in the great centre known 
as "Mildmay," the most striking proofs that association for 
work commends itself to those of strictly Evangelical and 
Protestant views. Mrs. Meredith was the first to advocate 
cottage homes for children in preference to huge barrack-like 
institutions ; while to recount the work done at Mildmay 
would be simply to re-catalogue much which is common to 
that done by others on more strictly Church lines. The 
workers deaconesses, as they are termed live in a mother- 
house, and mission out from thence in eight of the poorest 
and lowest districts in London. Mrs. Pennefather, its moving 
spirit, who has just been laid to her rest (in January, 1893), 
thought this relief necessary for the health, both physical and 
mental, of those who had been on duty for hours among the 
sights and sounds and smells of such a neighbourhood as 
that in Bethnal Green. " Five thousand seven hundred 
people," says the Standard, " live in this area of fifteen acres. 
The death-rate is forty in the thousand ; infant mortality, 
two hundred and fifty-two per thousand. There are seven 
hundred and thirty houses in the place, of which seven 
hundred and fifty-two rooms are let out as single tenements, 
nineteen of these rooms containing five or more inhabitants 
in each." Happily it has been condemned as unfit for habi- 
tation, and will soon cease to exist. A large proportion of 

On Associated Work. 139 

the 29,000 which is yearly expended on the good work of 
Mildmay is supplied by the earnings of its nurses, the gifts 
of its workers, and the sale of the very beautiful illuminations 
which are executed by two of their number as a labour 
of love. 

Women like Mrs. Meredith and Mrs. Pennefather typify 
the Church of England side of the Evangelical revival of 
the last century, which has never ceased to be largely and 
ably represented among us. The spirit and the teaching are 
the same, although the scope of their efforts has been greatly 
enlarged, and the breath of the " Zeit Geist " has passed over 

Turning to the present-day representatives of the great 
Methodist body, we watch with interest a development, with 
variations, of the " sisterhood " idea, which is gaining ground 
in the West London Mission under the direction of Mrs. 
Hugh Price Hughes. No adhesion is required to any standard 
of doctrine ; any sister is free to work out her own ideas, 
provided only that she succeeds ; and though a becoming 
uniform is worn, it is only worn when on duty. The sisters 
do not quit the world, but are encouraged to take an active 
interest in social questions, including municipal, school board, 
and Parliamentary elections, helping to canvass for what they 
consider "the right side." They speak at outdoor meetings, 
go in and out of the public-houses, visit room by room in 
and about the Seven Dials, and are a cheery, active set of 
good women, friendly helpers of the people of a democratic 
sort, and, true to Methodist traditions, they tell the "old, 
old story " unweariedly, feeling that " the soul of all improve- 
ment is the improvement of the soul." The Methodist 
sister is the Anglican district visitor, with a difference. She 
chooses her own work, and, if her home be outside the 
metropolitan area, may live at a pleasantly arranged house 
which is a centre for the work of the mission. As she 
takes no vows, and owes no one allegiance or obedience, 
it is apparent that she is not a " sister " in any ecclesiastical 

The Baptists, the Primitive Methodists, and the Con- 
gregationalists are feeling their way to a "forward" move- 
ment of a somewhat similar kind. This will afford a valuable 

140 Woman s Mission. 

outlet for some of the daughters of prosperous Nonconformist 
families, and give orthodox Dissent a more real touch with 
the everyday life and difficulties of the people. 

The greater number of the women whose work has been 
cursorily treated thus far, are members of the upper and 
middle classes, women of education and refinement, and ac- 
customed to comfort, if not to luxury. Very many are giving 
not only personal and gratuitous service, but large gifts of 
money, which have enabled their communities to build 
hospitals, convalescent homes, schools, orphanages, etc., with 
little or no help from the outside public. But the world has 
a use, too, for the women of lower rank and less cultivation, 
imbued with the same earnest desire to do good as their 
sisters of another class, whose work as Parochial Mission- 
women, Church Army nurses, Bible-women, and parish 
helpers, is of immense value. They live as the poor among 
the poor. They know their ways of life, their habits of 
thought ; they can feel with them as well as for them ; they 
can detect imposture ; they can use great plainness of speech ; 
they can be a most valuable link between the ladies who 
supervise them and the people to whom they go. The gulf 
more difficult to bridge than any other is that between the 
artisan and small shopkeeper and the unskilled labourer. 
Mission-women, drawn chiefly from the ranks of the former, 
need the delicacy and tact of the superintending lady, when 
they are sent to deal with the latter. Given common sense 
and earnest purpose on the part of both lady and mission- 
helper, the combination is almost perfect, and the results of 
their joint work of the most satisfactory kind. 

Of course, the very existence of professional or of paid 
workers opens the door to a very real danger, if it tempt us 
to regard "the service of humanity" as something with which 
the woman living the ordinary life of home, as daughter, 
sister, wife, and mother, has nothing to do beyond bidding 
it "God-speed," and giving it an occasional donation. "The 
Society of Friends" has always borne its testimony to the 
claim of women to an equal share with men in an unpaid 
ministry, which must be exercised by those who are led to 
it by "the inner light," in their everyday walk. Its women 
have for generations fulfilled every duty to home and family, 

On Associated Work. 141 

while they have also spoken at meetings, and practised habits 
of business which make them excellent members of com- 
mittees. They show us how women may take part in affairs, 
and yet remain among the quietest and most womanly of 
their sex. Unpretending as they are, there is no body, 
numerically so small, with a tithe of its weight. Twenty 
years ago "the Friends" were diminishing in number. There 
has been no leakage since in their admirable "First Day" 
and other schools ; the cultivated young people from refined 
Quaker homes have found that they, too, had a mission to 
the less favoured classes. 

It needs a distinct effort to recall the fact that Quakerism 
had a stormy youth, and that on both sides of the Atlantic 
it long suffered unmerited persecution. We wonder what 
will be the future of " the Salvation Army," which bears so 
many points of resemblance to it. The Salvation Army 
professedly deals with the seamy side of things "in a re- 
making of men which can only be done by hand." What 
does it not owe to Catharine Booth, "the Army Mother," 
"a born prophetess if ever there were one in the world," 
whose splendid enthusiasm and intense power led hundreds 
of other women to give up worldly prospects, "to endure 
hardness," to put themselves on a level with the lowest, "if 
by any means they might save some ! " 

" Where do we find the women for such work ? " asks one 
of its leaders. " Not usually among those fished up them- 
selves out of the deep sea of sin. Nor usually among those 
too daintily born and bred." A dressmaker, a cook, a lady's- 
rnaid, a type-writer, such are the women who are ready to 
give up good situations, with good salaries, and the prospect 
of making some small provision for old age, in order that 
they may enlist in the "Slum Brigade," and take up their 
"post" in crowded courts and by-streets in the midst of 
" the submerged." 

" When the poor souls they work among are ' saved,' " says 
Mrs. Bramwell Booth, "they find themselves welcomed with 
joy into a great family which gives friends to the lonely and 
friendless. In its work for other lost ones she may join, and 
in turn its leaders will watch over her ; living or dying they 
will count her one of themselves." 

142 Woman s Mission. 

Surely this is no new teaching. Had it been so far for- 
gotten that we needed the rise of the Salvation Army to 
remind us of our membership in the "one body" to sin- 
stricken and suffering humanity? Did we need to be taught 
that there are higher ideals than mere ease, comfort, respect- 
ability, a family pew, and the world's praise or even than 
"the higher culture"? This question of the proletariat is 
forced upon us whether we will or no. Such people as these 
cannot be raised en masse ; it must be done individually. 
We shall be wise if we can bring in recruits from any and 
every grade, and give to them also a share in the world's 

Across the Tweed, women's work is differentiated by the 
fact that the form of Church government is Presbyterian, and 
that organization is mainly on Congregational lines, not only 
among members of the Established Church, but also of the 
Free Church, the United Presbyterians, and the Episcopa- 
lians and other Nonconforming bodies. Several societies 
which in England are worked solely by members of the 
Anglican Church are undenominational in Scotland. Such 
are the Scotch Girls' Friendly Society, the Mothers' Union, 
and the " Onward and Upward Association," which is known 
in England as " The Women's Help Society." In Scotland, 
as in England, the Young Women's Christian Association 
bands together young women of every class on a religious 
basis, and numbers thousands of adherents. Perhaps the 
most picturesque bit of good work with which we are ac- 
quainted is that of the deaconesses of the Church of Scot- 
land, who follow the herring along its northern coast in order 
to bind up the cut hands, brighten the scanty leisure, and 
exercise a wise and loving influence over the migratory, 
bonnetless lassies who crowd into the little fishing-villages 
during the herring season. In Scotland, as in England, the 
number of ladies working in connection with the Girls' 
Friendly Society, the Mothers' Union, the Women's Help 
Society, in Ladies' Associations for the care of Girls, and 
in countless lesser guilds and societies, among the manifold 
duties and distractions of ordinary life, is very great. Some 
can give but fragments of time, others make it practically 
a life-work. It is a rare thing, among a large circle of our 

On Associated Work. 143 

best and most cultivated women, to come across one who 
is not doing something' for women and children, for lads or 
for men. 

It is not only women of English, Welsh, and Scotch 
nationality of whom this can be said. " The stranger within 
our gates " must not be forgotten. German Lutherans, French 
Protestants, English Jewesses, are alike organized for self- 
sacrificing effort. 

Jewish charity is Talmudic rather than Mosaic, and does 
not begin until the tithe has been duly paid into the treasury 
of God. With the constant pressure from Eastern Europe 
due to Russian persecution, the wealthier among them have 
large demands made upon their generosity ; but the immigrant, 
penniless and ignorant of the English language though he 
may be, is never long either penniless or ignorant. The 
admirable system of relief of the Jewish Board of Guardians 
helps to set him on his feet, and mother-wit, and habits of 
thrift pushed to the point of penuriousness, do the rest. With 
wonderful tenacity and industry, the Jew is constantly better- 
ing his position. With great mental ability he is constantly 
finding his way into the front rank of commerce. Made a 
compact body by tradition and by centuries of persecution, 
the Jews have been trained to give largely, and seem equal 
to all demands made upon them by their poorer brethren. 

The work of the Jewish ladies runs parallel with our own 
as regards methods. The sabbath schools, the mission 
services, the girls' clubs, the elementary and high schools 
for girls, the children's happy holidays the invalid kitchen, 
the needlework guild, the personal service guild, the pre- 
ventive and rescue work, are all conceived and carried on 
with sympathetic insight, and much common sense and ability. 
One very characteristic feature is the Jewish Ladies' Loan 
Society, which has worked well for the last forty-six years, 
and has met with marked success. It assists the deserving 
poor with loans of money without interest or other charge. The 
sums vary from ten shillings to ten pounds, and are repaid by 
weekly instalments of one-twentieth until the debt is liqui- 
dated. Two ladies in rotation from the committee visit the 
applicants, and if they think them fit persons give them letters 
of recommendation to the secretary (a paid officer), which 

144 Woman s Mission. 

are exchanged by him for the sum of money lent. No new 
loan is granted while a previous loan is in course of repay- 
ment, nor is any person entitled to a loan who may be 
indebted for an advance of money to any other society. 
During 1892, 359 loans were granted, the loans amounting to 
2032 icxr., the repayment being ,1908. These loans have 
frequently been the means of keeping a home together, or 
of giving a hawker or small tradesman a fresh start in life, 
or of tiding over a time of exceptional sickness and distress. 
The society also affords the lady visitors a reasonable ground 
for visiting the poor and ascertaining their condition. 

The good offices of these Jewish ladies, our fellow-citizens, 
are by no means confined to their co-religionists, but are very 
largely extended also to the Christians among whom their 
lot is cast, and many of them gladly co-operate in efforts for 
the spread of education, wholesome recreation, and temperance 
with Christian workers. 

What shall we say, then, of the work so barely outlined, 
of which the half is not told ? It is evident that no section 
of the community has a monopoly of good intentions, of 
earnest aspirations, of self-sacrificing zeal. It is evident that 
we must allow for varying idiosyncrasies, for the different 
ways of looking at things due to heredity, to environment, to 
early education and the discipline of life. We cannot, if we 
would, suppress or repress these varying activities and 
methods. We must make large allowance for what may 
seem to us crude, imperfect, over-zealous, or done in ignorance 
of higher truth. Human beings are not like bits of a Water- 
bury watch which can be fitted into their place by exactest 
mechanism. Sometimes they only find their true place after 
much weary effort. In these days of many organizations, 
no one need stand all the day idle because others will not 
welcome their co-operation. 

It is also tolerably clear that the majority of English- 
women work best in combination, and that the stricter the 
rule the more it attracts. Anglican sisterhoods have grown 
much faster than the freer order of deaconesses ; the Salva- 
tion Army never lacks recruits, while it is often difficult to 
find a parish mission-helper or institution matron. The 
societies which are tied with the greatest amount of red tape 

On Associated Work. 145 

increase most rapidly. Women grumble, but join, and 
develop esprit de corps. 

It is also evident that the world has need of the ministra- 
tions of women. As long as it lasts, children must be taught, 
sick people nursed, the poor visited and relieved, dull lives 
made bright, the better life made possible, and this comes 
strictly within their province. 

" But what plan gives the best results ? " it is asked. " Is 
there not a great waste of hard cash, some six millions of 
pounds sterling spent annually in charity in London alone, 
and a never-ceasing cry of ' Give, give ' ? To whom shall we 
give, and through whom, and how ; and when all is done Cut 
bono ? " What can we say ? This that it is time to consider 
our ways ; that we do not need more money, but rather how 
to apply it ; that in giving money we must give ourselves with 
it; that we must better the dwellings of the people, and teach 
them honest work for which we will give a fair wage, rather 
than the dole of money, food, or clothing, which degrades the 
recipient, unless it be given as from friend to friend ; that the 
giver must educate herself to see things in dry light, study 
the working of the laws affecting the poor, and understand 
exactly what agencies are already at work for their benefit, 
before she attempts to start others. There is a deplorable 
amount of " overlapping " in some quarters. In short, a woman 
worker, whether paid agent or volunteer, will be wise if she 
train in some definite and specialized way ; if the latter, after 
she has spent some probationary years, as a rule, at least 
five, in reading, and in the study of human kind as near as 
possible to her own home, and while still an inmate of it. She 
will be wise if she does this unobtrusively ; in the mean time 
not neglecting general mental cultivation, nor that of any talent 
she may possess. Nor should she neglect the amenities of her 
own social circle. It is not only in benighted villages and in 
the slums of cities that " sweetness and light " are needed. 

The worker should try to study causes before she attempts 
to deal with effects. She must " fence the precipice at the 
top before she provides an ambulance at the bottom." She 
must inspire reverence for womanhood and shield the unpro- 
tected before she tries to rescue the fallen. If the worker be 
reasonable, cultivated, earnest, with some experience of life, 


146 Woman 's Mission. 

some breadth of thought, some range of reading, some know- 
ledge of society, her influence will be far wider and deeper 
than if she rushes without consideration into practical work, 
and is overwhelmed by its demands upon her time and 
energies before her nature has had its fair chance of develop- 
ment. At present, although we number our " workers " 
by thousands, the really first-rate woman is not easily found 
when some position of trust and responsibility has to be filled. 
Waiting-time is not necessarily lost time. 

If the cultivated worker be wise, she will, after she has 
herself undergone definite training in the second stage of her 
probation, give of what she has received, and accept all the 
help from others which she can win them to give her in return. 
" Generals do not carry their own despatches ;" there is abun- 
dant readiness to be useful, and it is no credit to trained 
workers that they should so often break down from over- 
pressure. If we can lead, well and good ; but " the battle is 
won by the rank and file, and these are not raw recruits, but 
trained soldiers." 

It is interesting to notice how, gradually but very surely, 
these views are winning their way, and a certain change is 
coming over the direction taken by some of our most thought- 
ful women when planning their future work. There is a 
lessened desire to enter sisterhoods or to devote themselves 
to the work of organized societies, because in everyday life 
there are now such varied opportunities given them for better- 
ing the tone of society, and for improving the condition of the 
poor. Women have followed the lead of Miss Octavia Hill 
as rent-collectors ; they join local committees of the Charity 
Organization Society, they look after boarded-out children, 
they start girls' clubs, they become Poor-law guardians. 
Hardly a girl leaves some of our women's colleges e.g. 
Cheltenham and Westfield without interesting herself in 
some aspect of philanthropy. There are settlements of 
women-students under able guidance in Southwark, at May- 
field House, Bethnal Green, and at Victoria Park. We 
hardly know a more hopeful sign of the times than this, of 
higher education regarded as a means to greater usefulness, 
rather than for the delectation of the individual, by girls 
whose modesty and teachableness is beyond all praise. 

On Associated Work. 147 

What shall we say, then, in conclusion ? Would not our 
best workers be the first to cry, " Not as if we had already 
attained, or were already perfect " ? We acknowledge our 
faults, our want of cohesion, our over-great absorption in our 
favourite schemes, our tendency to get into a groove, our in- 
sularity, our almost superstitious belief in the virtues of an 
office, a staff of clerks, and an annual report But we humbly 
dare to hope that though we may never again present to the 
world " the pseudo-unity of external arrangement," yet that 
we may increasingly realize "the inward unity of a living 
whole." For do we not walk by faith, though sometimes we 
walk in darkness and see no light ? Is it not by faith in 
human goodness, faith in human possibilities, faith in God, 
that we spend our strength and do not count it wasted, attack 
age-long evils, and know that we are on the winning side ? 
On both sides of the Atlantic we have our muster-roll of 
" heroines of faith," and all unnoted they are by our side 
to-day the Nineteenth Century saints sisters, deaconesses, 
" Friends," Salvationists, wives, mothers, daughters ; in city, 
town, hamlet, and lonely farm ; in fashionable dress and 
homely garb ; set in high places, or far removed from the 
world's praise or blame ; whose hearts thrill as they think of 
its many needs, and are gladdened as their eyes are opened 
to see what an exceeding great company is doing battle for 
the right. 

Nor do we despair of a closer approximation on the part 
of women engaged in various ways in these ventures of faith. 
In some of our large cities, in Liverpool, Birmingham, Shef- 
field, Glasgow, Aberdeen, a Union of Women Workers has 
established itself which brings them together periodically 
for mutual consultation. In Liverpool, for example, these 
quarterly meetings are attended by ladies on some forty to 
fifty committees, and their deliberations have already affected 
public opinion to a marked extent. The way has been 
smoothed for the appointment of women Poor-law guardians, 
the excessive hours of work exacted from female pupil- 
teachers have been lessened, the younger ladies have been 
impressed with the importance of whole-heartedness in work, 
the public has learned a new respect for the capacity of 
women. The union affords an education to its members, 

148 Woman's Mission. 

exacts no new work, no new subscription ; it does not in any 
way interfere with their perfect independence, and welcomes 
all engaged or interested in women's work without distinction 
of class or of creed. Each local union is asked to furnish 
the Central Council with full information as to the work done 
within its area. Its president joins this council, which is 
organized on the same broad plan, and has an inquiry office 
and bureau in Lower Belgrave Street, London, which under- 
takes to focus and redistribute all information which may 
tend to promote the physical, mental, moral, and religious 
welfare of women. 

We hope that branches of the National Union of Women 
Workers may be quickly formed in India and the British 
colonies, and that we may be able to get into touch with 
similar bodies of workers in every land, so that we may know 
at once where to turn for information, advice, and help, 
especially when the welfare of women and children is con- 
cerned. We very earnestly beg for the co-operation of our 
sister workers in America, and trust that this unique oppor- 
tunity for the interchange of experience afforded by the 
Philanthropic Congress, held during the great World's Fair at 
Chicago, may lead to lasting and far-reaching results. 

( 149 ) 


IT is not possible to overrate the value of woman's work 
and influence in this branch of philanthropic and Christian 
usefulness. There is no work among our fallen sisters that 
more needs the services of their own sex than that of helping 
them to rise once more, and from the depths of their 
degradation to attain the level of an honest and useful life. 

I will endeavour to give a short sketch of the general 
system of rescue work as carried on in London particularly ; 
and by this I mean woman's rescue work among women, 
as distinct from penitentiary and preventive work. 

Our object is the rescue of women, girls, and children 
from an immoral and degrading life, and often it is possible 
to restore those of the better class to their families and 

Among the many societies and associations which have 
for their aim the rescue of young women, perhaps it may be 
well to give as an example the methods of work employed 
by the Female Mission to the Fallen, whose chief office is at 
the Reformatory and Refuge Union, Charing Cross. This 
is the central place of reference and advice for rescue 
workers, whether they are working in connection with the 
Union or not. 

Outdoor rescue work is the largest and most varied of 
all woman's work among the fallen, and includes visitation 
of the streets, etc., attendance at the police courts, visitation 
of the prisons, visitation of lodging-houses, visitation of work- 
houses, visitation of hospitals. 

At the office in Charing Cross are kept the registers of 

150 Woman 's Mission. 

many thousand cases that have been dealt with from time to 
time. Here also is prepared quarterly a list of women who 
gain entrance into homes for the purpose of doing mischief; 
professing penitence, they seek to draw away those who are 
really penitent. The managers of homes throughout the 
kingdom receive periodically such particulars as may be 
helpful to them in recognizing these mischief-makers when 
they apply, so that should they be admitted they may be 
treated with that caution and firmness which are most 
likely to conduce to their reformation, and thus prevent their 
evil influence ruining the other inmates. 

Information about the homes and about the work is 
collected and tabulated and made available for any one 
carrying on missionary efforts among the fallen. Quite 
recently a detailed list of all the Homes and Refuges for the 
Fallen in the United Kingdom has been published, showing 
the address of each home, the class received, the terms of 
admission, the number of inmates, the name and address 
of the honorary secretary and of the superintendent or 
matron, etc. 

By this mission London has been divided into seven 
districts for the purpose of periodical visitation by the 
missionaries of the Female Mission to the Fallen. To each 
of these districts there is appointed at least one missionary, 
and in some a mission-house has also been established. 

Quoting from their report, it may be well to note that 
rescue work is of such a varied character that it is difficult 
to convey any adequate idea of it as a whole ; but four 
general aspects of it may be taken in connection with this 
mission : the office work, the outdoor work, the mission- 
house work, and the work done by the training-homes. 

An active branch of outdoor work is visitation of the 
streets. It is held that every fallen woman in London should 
know of a friend to whom to turn for help when desirous to 
lead a better life. One of the methods is to distribute tracts 
by the missionaries of various societies and homes nightly in 
the streets and parks ; and at the end of each tract is written 
the name and address of the friend who will welcome a visit 
from any wandering sister, and will gladly help her to for- 
sake her evil life. In many cases cards are given, simply 

Rescue Work by Women among Women. 151 

bearing the name and address of the mission or of the helper, 
accompanied with a few kind and friendly words. Any one 
accustomed to go into the streets for this purpose is, in course 
of time, able to detect any new faces that she meets with ; 
these are the most hopeful. 

In the War Cry, the organ of the Salvation Army, the 
following paragraph is inserted : 

" To THE DISTRESSED. Any poor girl in need of a friend may write to Mrs. 
Bramwell Booth, 259, Mare Street, Hackney, London, who will try and help or 
give advice where possible. The Salvation Army also invites parents, relations, 
and friends in any part of the world interested in any woman or girl who is 
known or feared to be living in immorality, or is in danger of coming under the 
control of immoral persons, to write, stating full particulars, with names, dates, 
and addresses of all concerned, and, if possible, a photograph of the person in 
whom the interest is taken. All letters, whether from these persons or from 
such women or girls themselves, will be regarded as strictly confidential. They 
may be written in any language, and should be addressed to Mrs. Bramwell 
Booth, 259, Mare Street, Hackney, London." 

This paragraph is also repeated in the paper in the 
French and German languages. 

The rescuing medium of the Salvation Army has now 
become so well known that for the last two years they have 
stopped systematic outdoor rescue work ; i.e. going out to 
seek rescue cases pure and simple, as so many of these cases 
come into their hands that their receiving-houses are already 
overcrowded ; but their agencies visit houses in systematic 
rescue work in the provinces, where the local cases are fewer 
to deal with. 

In its laundry and factory-visiting, the Army has to 
deal with mixed cases of rescue and preventive work ; and 
in their slum work the officers come across rescue cases, but 
do not now seek them out as a speciality. 

With the visitation of the common lodging-houses of 
London is, perhaps, connected the most difficult part of 
rescue work. In distributing tracts nightly, the missionary 
seeks every opportunity of conversing with some of the 
women, and, if possible, of obtaining an address where they 
can be seen in the daytime. They do not readily give an 
address, and when they do, it is too often a false one, or one 
at which no access is to be gained to the poor woman by any 
one suspected of having really good intentions towards her. 
Some of the missionaries gain access to the common lodging- 
houses, where there are always women of the class we are 

152 Woman s Mission. 

seeking to save. Much tact has to be exercised in the use of 
this privilege. If the missionary has some flowers to dis- 
tribute, she can more readily gain a hearing, and so simple 
a ruse may well be regarded as justifiable in facilitating the 
efforts of the seeker after these lost ones. 

The system used is to catch the women about ten in the 
morning, before they are up, or from five to seven in the 
evening, when they are dressing to go out. The workers 
go into the houses with flowers or pictures, and if the worker 
gets a chance, she will persuade a girl to come outside and 
have a talk, as there are always old women watching over 
the younger ones to prevent their being taken away from 
them, and it is these old crones who are the dangerous 
enemies of the workers. 

A missionary told me just lately that she has succeeded 
in speaking to some of these girls who are living in what are 
called " the doubles," i.e. those lodging-houses intended for 
the use of couples, the keepers of which make no inquiries, 
and it is needless to say that the marriage bond rarely links 
the men and women who frequent them. The missionary 
has pleaded with a girl three months without effect, and at 
last she has come to say they are willing to be married. 
The missionary has frequently bought the penny or two- 
penny wedding-ring and lent the woman clothes for the 

The most hopeful class in rescue work are the women 
with illegitimate children ; but there is always great difficulty 
in providing for a woman who has her child to maintain, as so 
few missions provide a shelter for women with their babies, 
and this is a great want in the work. A home for this class 
of women and their infants will be found among the branches 
of our own mission. 

Another form of outside work is among those who are 
placed in the hospitals many of these women coming to the 
various homes in a very feeble and diseased state of health. 
This is carried on very largely in almost all the Lock Wards 
of our hospitals and infirmaries ; it is so much easier to get 
hold of these poor girls during the time of their illness and 
weakness, as they are then so much more amenable to kind- 
ness, and a very large proportion of cases in our homes come 

Resciie Work by Women among Women. 153 

to us through influence gained over them during sickness 
by lady visitors. We may perhaps mention that a small 
hospital has been opened by the National Vigilance Associa- 
tion especially for these cases, the committee and the entire 
staff doctors as well as nurses being ladies. 

In order that the general working system of a rescue 
mission may be clearly understood, I have been asked to 
write, as concisely as I can, a short sketch showing how this 
mission began and how it has attained its present scope and 
influence, to make clear our aims and purposes, and to show 
something of the practical working of our system at the 
Bridge of Hope, Ratcliff Highway, London. 

Our work is Christian, but undenominational. It is purely 
a mission from women to women, girls, and children, and was 
from the first only for those of the very lowest social scale. 
These, at the time this work began, were precisely the least 
aided and the most difficult to help. I am glad to say that 
our endeavours have been so encouraged and sustained that, 
beginning with six young women of the locality in which 
our home is situated, we are enabled to count by hundreds 
those who now pass yearly through our hands. 

For the beginning of this work I must go back thirteen 
years. It was in 1879 that I went to the Ratcliff High- 
way, which was then one of the worst parts of all the 
East End of London, and one which was at that time but 
little known except to police and the resident clergy or City 
missionaries. I wished to live among these people, to help 
them where they stood ; feeling that to attain any lasting 
practical good we must get a fuller comprehension of the 
social atmosphere of their own individual lives, so as better 
to judge of their weaknesses, temptations, and sins from their 
own standpoint, and amid the pressure of their own daily 
surroundings ; realizing that this method alone would enable 
one to judge more wisely what help to give, when to give it, 
and under what circumstances to make exceptions to usual 
rules. Without this merging of our own lives into theirs, and 
a serious and practical study of the world in which these 
poor degraded ones live, we shall never make the headway 
we desire in saving what are called the " lapsed classes." 
The lower classes cannot gain much help from those of a 

154 Woman's Mission. 

higher social level, unless fundamental knowledge of their 
wants and capabilities is first gained by those who would 
work for the benefit and advantage of those they seek to 
help. This is why casual visiting among the poor is so often 
of such little avail in spite of well-meant efforts. 

The first simple step I took to get hold of the women I 
wanted was to go out into the Highway and the bad neigh- 
bourhood around and ask some of the girls to come and have 
tea with me. Objections would be raised, " We've got our 
knitting to do," etc. ; but I used to say, " Well, bring your 
knitting with you," and so by degrees I prevailed and they 
would come a little afraid of being preached at, and a little 
anxious to know what I was going to do. 

After tea we would talk on all manner of subjects, and 
I would do my best to amuse and interest my audience 
bringing in gradually a few words of advice and simple 
friendliness, letting them feel that a friend, who would be a 
friend in need, was living in their midst, whose only desire 
was to help them in their weary lives, and to aid them to 
mount to something higher. A little prayer, a little reading 
were got in by degrees, and so with patience and constant 
gentle pushing this difficult pioneer work, which is always the 
hardest, progressed. 

By degrees a few workers joined me, and our little band 
grew. My hands were strengthened by co-operation, and the 
poor people for whom we were striving day by day became 
slowly accustomed and attached to us. 

I took a little house in Prince's Square, just out of the High- 
way, large enough to receive six young women, and from that 
time to this I am thankful to say we have never been in debt, 
though we have been, and are often, in sore straits to carry on 
our labour of love. The mission is entirely supported by 
voluntary contributions ; and when at times we have been 
forced to make an occasional appeal, the response has been 
generous and hearty, as I am sure it would be in any country ; 
for a national heart is always a charitable one. 

In 1884 we were able to take three houses in Betts Street, 
and turn them into a Refuge, from which our present large 
mission building has grown. One of these was an old public- 
house, the Sugar Loaf, of far and ill-famed notoriety, and the 

Rescue Work by Women among Women. 155 

two adjoining houses were both of bad repute. These also 
comprised a spacious room in the rear that had been a 
dancing-saloon, and this has been transformed into our bright 
little mission hall. 

Betts Street, when we first began, contained thirty-five 
houses of the worst possible repute, and it was certainly not 
a safe thoroughfare long after three o'clock in the afternoon. 
Before that hour its inhabitants were for the greater part 

The work is now divided into three distinct branches : ist. 
The Night Shelter, or the work among destitute women ; 
2nd. Rescue Work among fallen women carried on in the 
Refuge ; and 3rd. The Preventive Work among little girls 
who have been born among the very worst surroundings. 

The number of women and girls who have passed through 
the " Bridge of Hope " is as follows : 

Rescue cases. Preventive Total. 


1880-1 no 37 147 

1881-2 131 26 157 

1882-3 I 8 3 59 242 

1883-4 221 85 306 

1884-5 2 73 93 366 

1885-6 274 125 399 

1886-7 287 135 422 

1887-8 204 93 297 

1888-9 265 122 387 

1889-90 222 l82 404 

1890-1 254 176 430 


Night's lodgings. 

1885-6 1738 

1886-7 1007 

1887-8 1027 

1888-9 6072 

1889-90 5855 

1890-1 5201 

It may be said that our numbers do not seem larger in 
proportion now ; let it be remembered, therefore, that now 
we keep and train and educate, where at first we passed on 
elsewhere. The cases that only stay a few nights are now 
included in the Night Shelter list. 

Perhaps some idea of the mission house as a building 

156 Woman's Mission. 

would be of practical use. One division is the Night 
Shelter ; the larger portion forms the Refuge for Women and 
a Home for the workers, with the laundry whic^i occupies the 
whole of the highest floor of the building. We have also our 
industrial branches in the Home of Needle-work and Dress- 
making, and the Knitting Department, where machine knitting 
is carried on as a trade. Last year we earned just 600. 
The whole was erected and furnished at the total cost of 
$479 i8s. lod. The preventive work is carried on in cottage 
homes situated at a distance from the refuge. Besides this 
there is a small Servants' Lodge for girls out of place who 
have passed through the Home, and there is also a Home for 
Mothers and their poor little babies. There is room for nine 
girls in the Servants' Lodge, and in the other house there is 
room for seven mothers and their infants. The contributions 
of two ladies more than cover the rent and taxes of the 
Mothers' Cottage, and to the kindness of two other friends 
we are indebted for the money which covers the rent and 
taxes of the Servants' Lodge. Both these houses are at 

In speaking of the work we must begin first with the 
Night Shelter. In the " Bridge of Hope " Night Shelter we 
have accommodation for eighteen ; and it is as much as we can 
efficiently do to help this steady influx of eighteen human 
souls coming freshly every day, and always needing advice, 
help, and sympathy. Sickness, loss of work, and winter 
weather bring to destitution a large number of women who 
drift into the shelter, not knowing where to turn. They 
come at all hours, and are given a bed free of charge, sleep 
safely and soundly until the next morning, when we hear 
their story, take pains to verify it, and then give what help 
seems urgent or necessary for the case. 

It is pitiful to think what a little practical help will some- 
times suffice to give fresh impetus and courage to a human 
life. Sometimes it is a poor sewing-girl who has lost her all, 
and has not even the necessary implements to carry on her 
trade, though she is willing to work honestly and hard for 
the terribly low wages which suffice for livelihood. Here, a 
pair of scissors and a thimble give heart and hope to the 
poor despairing worker, and off she goes, cheered by kindly 

Rescue Work by Women among Women. 157 

words and friendly wishes, hugging her treasure and quite 
ready to begin again that hard struggle for life. Then again, 
having made a fresh beginning, many of our poor women 
bring their wages for us to take care of until a little sum is 
gained with which they can make a really good and more 
practical start. 

Here is a very fair example of the work we are always 
doing. A poor woman and her little daughter of thirteen 
came to the shelter about two years ago. The woman was 
a good hand at her trade, gentlemen's tie-making, but had 
been very ill, and obliged at last to seek refuge in the work- 
house infirmary. When she got better she heard of our 
shelter, and, taking her discharge with her little girl, came to 
our door. After due investigation, we offered to receive the 
girl into one of our homes, and give the mother free lodgings 
until she could get back her work. She obtained work, but 
not one penny did she spend without consulting her kind 
friend the Night Shelter superintendent. She bought boots 
and calico, and made herself some underlinen, and then 
bought tidy clothes until her wardrobe was replenished and 
she got back her old feelings of self-respect. Then one by 
one articles of furniture were bought for a little room until 
the " home " was gathered again. Soon after we sent her 
back her little girl, whom she taught her own trade. Since 
then she has prospered greatly in her business, and has now 
six employees working under her. 

So many touching memories crowd upon us that we could 
write a book of thrilling incidents stranger than fiction ; 
but we have learned to measure something of the temptations 
from which these poor women fled, and to know how, in the 
fierce struggle of this great teeming city of ours, many aspira- 
tions after something better, a higher life, fall withered and 
crushed. Many who come to us, without a helping hand 
would have no resource but the workhouse or a life of sin. I 
am certain that no one among us would ever have courage 
to cast the " first stone " if we could know the awful straits 
which bring so many of our sisters into sin. A lady once 
said to me, " Call them knocked-doivn women if you will, but 
not fallen." I wish more in her position had as clear an 
understanding of facts, and more hands would be stretched 

158 Woman's Mission. 

out to help us in practical ways with individual cases as she 
has done. 

Many of the cases which come to the Night Shelter are 
poor women who probably never were first-class " hands ; " 
and generally some weakness or defect keeps them from 
earning first-class wages, and yet so many are honest and 
willing to work. Dealing with these it is which is our hardest 
and most heart-breaking work. I never know how we are 
able to help these poor creatures, and we can never speak of 
it in a wholesale way ; yet one after another gets a hand up, 
a door opens, a place is found, hope returns, and from among 
these desolate ones a rich harvest is gathered in. It is help- 
ing those willing to help themselves which is the point and 
ambition of our work ; and there are so sadly many of them, 
here and everywhere, who are only too willing to work and 
start afresh, but who do not know how to set about it, and 
here it is that our experience and power of influence come in. 

Many children runaways or brought to us by the police 
or some kindly person come to us through the Night 
Shelter doors. Besides the casual help we thus render, there 
are many who, homeless, tradeless, and often friendless, are 
willing to enter the Refuge and go through the routine and 
training of our Home. We find out for which branch of 
work they have the most aptitude or inclination kitchen, 
laundry, needle-room or knitting-room, or again housework ; 
and so they start and work steadily on until they are able to 
go out into the world once more. 

In the Home and Refuge the work is entirely among the 
so-called fallen. I can scarcely say fallen women, because 
the larger number are in their teens, many only fourteen and 
fifteen years of age. Many people talk as if these women 
were never really reformed. From my experience I can 
speak in a very different strain. I can recall the faces of 
large numbers who, coming into this house from the very 
depths of sin, are now leading honest, useful, nay, in many 
instances, I may say noble and heroic lives. 

As I have said, apart from the mother-home, we have 
five children's homes, which are entirely for work among 
children. The first Bridge House is our Receiving Home, 
and is situated in London ; the second is at Redhill, and the 

Rescue Work by Women among Women. 159 

third at Highgate. One for delicate children, situated on 
the banks of the Thames near Southend, is considerably 
helped by the young ladies in the Rev. F. B. Meyer's con- 
gregation, who meet every week to work, and sell their 
needlework, for the benefit of the children. One of the 
children's homes at Ticehurst, called the Haven, was given 
and furnished for us by a kind friend of the work ; and, as 
the cottage is situated on her own estate, she is enabled to 
gratify her warm interest in it by helping personally in the 
superintendence. We never keep a bed empty in these 
preventive homes. A young girl, however naughty she 
may be, is not turned back if it is possible to take her in, 
and especially if she comes from the dangers of a poor over- 
crowded East End home. 

The daily papers are perhaps the best witnesses of the 
need there is for saving the young. There is scarcely a case 
made public, but we could produce a parallel. We must not, 
dare not, sit down in supine idleness, because there seems no 
sufficient answer to the cry of what can be done to save the 
thousands of children ! The only comfort is to do what we 
can. The " mothering " of these young lives is a sweet relief 
from the darkest side of rescue work. It is delightful to 
visit the homes where they are being trained, and where 
they are beginning to develop into bright intelligent girls. 

By far the larger number of girls in service from these 
homes are doing wonderfully well, and the many grateful 
letters we receive show that our care has not been lavished 
in vain. It is no uncommon thing to have a visit from one of 
our children of years ago, but now in service, with her young 
man ; and many are the wedding presents we have given. 

Our aim in all is to follow Christ and to work for His 
poor and His little ones in the spirit of love and sacrifice, 
as He may teach and lead us. Our hope is, that any success 
we may have had may be an encouragement to others to 
work among those apparently most hopeless ones, whose 
homes may lie near to their own doors, whether among the 
overcrowded cities in our own beloved England, or in the 
younger, freer, less thickly populated Western cities, where 
perhaps such work may not be less needed. 

160 Woman's Mission. 


THE benefits accruing to the soldier from Institutes are now 
so well understood, that they multiply, and will, we hope, in 
course of time, be found wheresoever barracks exist. The 
Soldiers' Institutes at Aldershot and Portsmouth are, perhaps, 
the most generally known, but there are numerous others 
deserving attention and admiration. These have been, for 
the most part, founded by women. 

Miss Sarah Robinson began her work among soldiers 
after a dangerous illness. She resolved to devote herself to 
the service of her heavenly Father, should it be His good 
pleasure to restore her to health. She recovered sufficiently 
to commence the labours which have resulted in the Ports- 
mouth Soldiers' Institute. Like all great works, it had a 
small beginning. At first Miss Robinson carried coffee to 
her soldiers in a caravan, and ministered to their spiritual 
wants by such means as were within her reach ; now her 
resources are truly manifold. But, as she began in bodily 
weakness, so she has continued, " glorifying God " through 
much suffering and much opposition. Like Miss Florence 
Nightingale, her heart was in her work, and her " strength 
was perfected in weakness." Miss Nightingale once wrote 
as follows : 

May I from my sick-bed cry for help from England for her soldiers and 
their Institute at Portsmouth, the great port for embarking and disembarking. 
If we knew how troops, immediately on landing, are beset with invitations to bad 
of all kinds, we should hasten to supply them with invitations to, and means for, 
good of all kinds. If we realized what were the only places open to our men out 
of barracks, places not of recreation but of drink and of vice, to the intense misery 
and degradation of men, women and children ... if you knew these things as 
I do, you would forgive me for asking you, if my poor name may still be that of 
the soldiers' ever-faithful servant, to support Miss Robinson's work in making 
men of them at Portsmouth, the place of all others of temptation to be brutes. 

Work among Soldiers. 161 

This appeal has been to a great extent answered. Since 
the Institute was opened in 1874, hundreds of thousands of 
soldiers, their wives and children, have been benefited. It is 
only necessary to inspect the Institute, and see the vast 
machinery at work for the bodily and spiritual good of the 
soldier, to understand at a glance what " The Soldiers' 
Friend " has done for him. The announcement on its thres- 
hold declares the huge establishment free to all soldiers and 
sailors, and proclaims that refreshments, amusements, secular 
and religious instruction, lodgings for friends everything, 
in short, excepting intoxicating drinks can be found within, 
either free, or at a moderate charge. The refreshment bar is 
self-supporting. The Institute contains a large dining-room, 
coffee-room, general reception-room, billiard-rooms, reading- 
room, Bible-class room, and endless sleeping apartments. 
There is besides an immense lecture hall for general meetings, 
surrounded by lofty and spacious galleries ; it seats about a 
thousand people. What is there not ? Even a bowling-green 
and skittle-alley. 

This large Institute is in the town of Portsmouth, but an 
important branch of the work is carried on in the dockyard. 
Much hardship was experienced formerly by women and 
children on landing from the troop-ships, as well as by the 
soldiers themselves. They had sometimes to wait for hours 
without food or shelter, and great was the joy when Miss 
Robinson gained permission (in 1876) to send coffee, buns, and 
biscuits from the Institute to the jetty. Both officers and men 
appreciated this, boon ; and in 1877 it was further enhanced 
by the erection of a little coffee-stall on the troop-ship jetty, 
provided with boilers and other necessary appliances. By 
this means much labour was spared to the workers, and much 
benefit bestowed on the weary and often heart-sick crew 
of the troop-ships. Waiting-rooms have also been built on 
the jetty, so that at the present time the soldier and his 
family are more hospitably received on their return to their 
native country than in the past. 

This is proved in more ways than one. A large room has 
been opened in the town, whither the soldiers' and sailors' 
wives come for needlework. This has grown into an institu- 
tion, and the work is sold to ladies for the benefit of the 


1 62 Woman's Mission. 

workers. Orders are also received and well executed, and 
the number of articles made annually averages four thousand. 
To quote from Miss Robinson's report, " In the cases of 
women 'married without leave,' this employment and other 
kindly help given to them, are frequently all that stands 
between them and starvation, or degradation." Added to 
this excellent effort, there are sewing classes, mothers' meet- 
ings, Bands of Hope, and " homes " for orphan girls. Miss 
Robinson seeks to fit out the latter for service, or to place 
them in permanent homes or schools ; and surely England 
owes her, and the other ladies who work on similar lines, a 
debt of gratitude for thus consecrating their lives to the 
good of those who fight for her homes and hearths. That 
the soldiers themselves, their wives, and children, are grate- 
ful, is proved daily, almost hourly, by written and spoken 
words eloquent with unstudied thankfulness. 

Of the home attached to the Institute, Miss Robinson 
herself says 

The uncertainty as to each day's requirements adds greatly to the difficulties 
of Institute "housekeeping." For instance, one day all our beds may be empty, 
and the next all filled and extra ones needed. One day a message came from the 
Quartermaster-General's office to ask how many women and children we could 
accommodate, as a shipful was expected. We replied that we could take in one 
hundred and forty ; but, after all, only one woman came. The next week, 
without any notice whatever, sixty persons were sent to us to be kept for three 
days. One day a sergeant drove up from the dockyard to say, ' ' Look sharp, 
sixteen families are on their way to you ; " but generally our first intimation is 
from the people themselves pouring into the house. 

The troop-ship work is perhaps the distinguishing feature 
of this Institute. Ladies visit every vessel that embarks or 
disembarks at Portsmouth, and one lady makes it her special 
care to see to the sick on board, and give them warm clothing 
and little dainties. Others go through the quarters of the 
women and children, which are close and crowded, with beds 
on shelves one above another, and scarcely space to pass 
between. The kindness of friends, here, there, and everywhere, 
enables the ladies to distribute hundreds of wraps sorely 
needed by the poor families who arrive, perhaps, from the 
tropics, and have to proceed, by train or otherwise, to colder 
climes. " The Little Friends of Soldiers and Sailors," or 
" Miss Robinson's own," aid in this good work. They send 

Work among Soldiers. 163 

garments and presents for the children, and collect, on an 
average, 1 50 annually for the three institutes. This juvenile 
society was formed August I, 1884, to commemorate Miss 
Robinson's fiftieth birthday. Nearly ten years have elapsed 
since then, and we have now, alas ! to chronicle the fact that 
Miss Robinson resigns the actual superintendence of the 
Institute into the hands of another : Mr. Gelson Gregson. 
She will still reside within its walls and identify herself with 
it ; but her failing health forbids continuance of the immense 
labour she has gone through in past years. 

It is not easy to realize what this has been. There is at 
Portsmouth the Soldiers' Institute, with every accommodation 
for soldiers and sailors and their wives ; Mission Hall and 
Soup Kitchen ; two coffee sheds on the jetty ; the Sailors' 
Welcome at Portsea ; the Welcome Mission at Landport ; and 
last, but not least, the Sailors' and Soldiers' Institute at 
Alexandria. This last is situated on the Boulevard Ramleh, 
and was begun and completed in six months. Miss Robinson 
says that her first idea was to erect a temporary building ; 
and accordingly, she purchased the iron Oratory at Brompton 
(which happened to be then for sale), and it was put up under 
the direction of her Portsmouth manager, Mr. Tufnell, himself 
once a soldier. This was succeeded by the present handsome 
stone building. Here the same rules and regulations obtain 
as at Portsmouth, and the same advantages are afforded. 
There are the refreshment-bar, the large reading-room, Bible- 
class room, lecture hall, club-room for officers and English 
residents, bedrooms for officers, sleeping cabins, etc. Certainly 
good works make "the whole world kin," and for this and 
innumerable other "good works" we are indebted to women. 
Lord Wolseley gave them a meed of praise at an Institute 
meeting in Ireland, when he delivered an address in behalf 
of the work of Miss Sands among the soldiers. He said, 
"We thank God for the earnest band of voluntary lady- 
workers He has sent to help us. They visit systematically 
in barracks .and hospitals, welcome the men who come to 
the homes, and hold nightly meetings for those who wish 
to attend." 

This quotation introduces us to other homes and institutes 
in the sister country. They have been established in Co. 

164 Womaris Mission. 

Cork, and not only in Cork itself, but in Queenstown, Ballin- 
collig, Dublin, Dundalk, and Belfast. Miss Sands has devoted 
herself with untiring energy and zeal thus to aid the soldier. 
The Cork institution has been working between fifteen and 
sixteen years, and provides, as do the other homes, the 
accommodation, recreation, and instruction, afforded by all 
similar institutions. Indeed most, if not all, Soldiers' Insti- 
tutes are formed and kept alive on similar principles. 

The opinion of Lord Wolseley must have weight, and he 
speaks truly with authority of the benefits derived by the 
soldier from the philanthropic efforts of the women of this 
remarkable age. A few more quotations from his speech 
may be serviceable. 

It was not until the ladies of Great Britain and Ireland, with great devotion, 
came forward that the soldiers' clubs or homes became the useful and well- 
organized institutions they are at present. Those who knew the soldier knew 
that what he required was a " home " with sympathetic care and consideration. 
What did home mean ? Home to the citizen of Cork was the same as home to 
the soldier. The soldier's recollection was associated with his mother and sisters 
and numbers of acquaintances, and when away from them he felt the great want 
of sympathy a lady could alone give him. It is because of that sympathy given 
in the homes that they are as popular with some of the men as the mess-house 
with the officer ; and he finds every convenience that the best club-house supplies. 
He can write letters to his people at home in comfort and peace ; he can enjoy 
himself, and not only have his mind filled with good literature and his body with 
good provisions, but he meets with companions who will talk to him on an 
equality, and in a way it would be impossible for an officer, no matter how much 
sympathy he may feel for the men, to do. The presence of the ladies is the 
great charm of these institutions, for the men find in them sympathy, an anxiety 
to help them, and loving care. Four ladies reside in the Cork, Dublin, and 
Belfast homes, and two ladies in each of the smaller homes. In closing we cannot 
help thanking God for the way He has blest all our homes through the past year, 
and especially for spiritual blessing amongst the men. 

It would be impossible to particularize all the institutes 
that have arisen since the first attempt was made to teach 
our soldiers the blessings of religion. This philanthropic and 
highly spiritual effort originated at Aldershot, some thirty 
years ago. Mrs. Daniell, the widow of an officer, preceded 
Miss Robinson, and should, perhaps, have had the first place 
in this paper ; suffice it to say that her soul was stirred by 
the lack of religion and morality in the army at that time, 
and she resolved to dedicate the remaining years of her life 
to the endeavour to provide the soldier with the Christian's 
armour, to enable him to fight against worse foes than he 

Work among Soldiers. 165 

could meet with even on the battle-field. She knew that 
when off duty his only recreation was to be found in the 
public-house, the low music-hall, the dancing-saloon, or in 
worse places still, which are sure to crop up wherever bar- 
racks are placed. She would give him the choice of some- 
thing better ; and the result has been that a machinery for 
good is now in full force at Aldershot, similar to that already 
working at Portsmouth. The intentions and prayers of this 
Christian lady are expressed in a letter she wrote to the late 
Rev. Mr. Pennefather, of Mildmay. Both are now " reaping 
the reward of their labours," together with Mrs. Pennefather, 
so lately taken from us ; and it is well to know how deeply 
they all felt the need of employing every art and artifice in 
the arduous conflict with evil. The following is an extract 
from the letter in question : " If I know anything of my own 
heart, I am ready to say to every call of the Master, ' Here 
am I, send me ! ' But then we must not mistake the voice 
of partial friends for the Master's call ; and what I want you 
and other friends to pray for is, not that I may be permitted 
to commence this work, but rather that I may be kept from 
taking any steps in the matter unless He has chosen me for 
this honour. So much has been written of Aldershot, that 
it is unnecessary for me to enter into the loathsome details 
of the unblushing vice that tracks the everyday path of the 
poor soldier. A Christian officer who has been there for two 
years told a friend last month that nothing that was ever said 
of the abounding wickedness could go beyond the reality. 
Something therefore ought to be done over and above what 
may yet have been attempted. If the time to favour Aider- 
shot be come, some loving hands will be stretched out to 
help forward the mission, some loving voice will bid me God- 
speed. Do not forget to ask special prayer : ' All things 
whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive.' 
I shall long to hear what you think on the subject, and to 
have your advice as to the propriety of undertaking the 

Thus began Mrs. Daniell's mission to the camp and town 
of Aldershot. She laboured in it about ten years ; and after 
her much lamented death, in 1871, her daughter, Miss G. F. 
S. Daniell, carried it on. This " worthy daugh ter of a worthy 

1 66 Woman s Mission. 

mother " labours still in the fields thus prepared. Aided by 
other devoted women, she, as a soldier's daughter, lives for 
the soldier. There can be no better ending for this paper 
than an extract from her own reports, which shows what the 
mission is to-day : 

The work at Aldershot grew and prospered. For some years it stood alone, 
but in the course of time the parent stem shot forth goodly branches, and it is carried 
on to-day in six garrisons, in addition to the old "home " at Aldershot Chatham, 
Colchester, Manchester, London, Plymouth, and Windsor. The buildings are 
vested in the hands of trustees, men of mark either in the service or in the 
philanthropic world, but are placed under the control of no particular eccle- 
siastical body. In an army composed of men of all religious denominations, 
Church distinctions must be unknown in any work which is to be free and open 
to all. No man, be he Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Wesleyan, Baptist, or Romanist, 
must run the chance of hearing anything said against the Church of his choice. 
And therefore from the very first, and throughout the whole course of the work, 
this neutral independent ground has been most jealously guarded. Of course no 
secret has ever been made of the fact that those who are freely giving their life 
and means to carry on the work in Mrs. Daniell's Homes do not look upon the 
men as mere " children to be amused," but as undying souls, capable of rising to 
the height of fellowship with God. 

Beyond and above all is the personal work of the ladies living in the homes. 
During the evening, the time at which the soldier is out of barracks and a free 
man, one of them is always on duty in a small library near the entrance hall. 
Here new-comers are welcomed, temperance pledges taken, lending-library books 
exchanged ; and here, perhaps, as much as or more than in any other part of the 
premises, the work of the mission has been accomplished. 

All the branches already mentioned in Miss Robinson's 
work are in active operation here. These are the results of 
Mrs. Daniell's prayers and labours. She and her daughter 
have been the pioneers in this noble work, and we cannot err 
in saying that what they and their followers have accomplished 
has borne fruit even unto " the ends of the earth." 



I HAVE been requested by the Baroness Burdett-Coutts to 
write a paper, giving an account of my personal work in 
the Royal Navy of Great Britain, and among sailors every- 
where. I have much pleasure in responding to the request 
of one whose active and incessant philanthropy is of world- 
wide repute. I also append some notes to this paper, as 
to Sailors' Rests and Homes in various parts of the world. 
Although I have been working for the good of sailors for 
twenty-five years, the last twenty have been by far the most 
active and fruitful. About twenty-five years ago, a little 
seed was sown, which, under God, was to grow into a great 
tree. A Christian soldier asked me to write to a seaman, a 
godly man, then serving as sick-berth steward on board 
H.M.S. Crocodile. " He would like a letter from a Christian 
lady," wrote the soldier, "because he misses his mother's 
letters so much. She used to write to him, but she is dead 
and gone." To replace that mother was no easy task, and 
yet it was a plain duty to write to the man. I did so, and 
he has often since remarked what a help that simple letter 
was to him ; how he took it into a dark corner of the ship, 
and, when he had read it, how he knelt down and thanked 
God that He had given him a Christian friend to take his 
mother's place. That sick-berth steward was well known in 
Portsmouth. He is now in New York, where, having passed 
through the medical schools, he has graduated, taking the 
degree of Doctor of Medicine, and is now practising and 
working for God in the Medical Mission of that city. " Never 
shall I forget," said he, in writing to me, " the dear old 

1 68 Woman's Mission. 

Crocodile days, and never do I cease to thank God that I was 
your first blue-jacket friend." 

Thus the key-note of the work was struck : personal in- 
terest in the brave men of the sea men who of all others 
know how to appreciate true friendship, and men of all 
others who are most frequently led down to destruction by 
friendship of a wrong kind. This work began to grow. It 
had the principle of life in it which only God could give ; 
and its aim was, and has been, by every holy, Christ-like, and 
home influence, to draw our naval men from pleasures that 
debase and ruin them to a sober and godly life. My first 
naval friend, now Dr. George Dowkontt, sent me the names 
of Christian men on board other of her Majesty's ships, who 
had no one to write to them, and would be so glad to hear 
from some friend who would give them good counsel ; here 
was a quiet way of ministering, but a useful one. Jack is 
not overdone by letters : he values them, he reads and re- 
reads them, and stows them away in cap or ditty box for 
future reference, and oftentimes they become the touch of 
Christian love that leads him to forsake the evil and to 
choose the good. Twenty years ago, I found letter-writing 
an important part of the work, and I find it so still. About 
ten thousand letters, all purely personal, were written last 
year, in reply to as many written by officers and men in our 
fleet all over the world. To supplement, but not to super- 
sede this letter-writing, I issue two monthly letters ; one 
to the men, the other to the boys of our Service. These 
letters have been circulated afloat for about twenty years. 
When first issued, a few hundred copies sufficed ; but the 
demand for them has grown so steadily that last year 
529,682 were circulated. These little messengers have gone 
through every ship in her Majesty's Service, from the grim 
battle-ship to the little torpedo-boat. They also go to the 
merchant seamen, fishermen, lifeboat men ; and last, but not 
least, they find a welcome under the Stars and Stripes, 
having been circulated for many years in the United States 
Navy. The demand came in this way. One of the American 
warships was lying in Japanese waters, some years ago, 
alongside a British ship ; the monthly letters were passed on 
board, and the American seamen wrote to me again and 

Work among Sailors. 169 

again, asking me to bring out an edition expressly for them- 
selves. This I did ; and now each American warship 
receives its consignment every month, and hearty letters of 
thanks are returned. 

At the commencement of my personal work in the Navy, 
I was asked by the National Temperance League of London 
to superintend the " Royal Naval Temperance Society." 
Drink has ever been Jack's greatest enemy, and I was eager 
to fight such a foe. Single-handed, I could have done nothing ; 
but by organization and the help of the splendid committees 
on board our ships, the temperance work in the Navy has 
made a great and abiding success. Mr. W. S. Caine, M.P., 
when Junior Lord of the Admiralty, calculated that it saved 
the country a million sterling a year. H.M. Consul at 
Yokohama stated that while in old days numbers of seamen 
were committed for drunkenness, yet, although three thousand 
men were ashore on a recent visit of the British squadron, only 
three were brought before him. The Royal Naval Temper- 
ance Society has so extended its operations that at the present 
date it is working on board every ship in our national Service. 
In some ships we have solitary workers, but on board most 
of them organized committees of seamen and marines are 
earnestly working to save their shipmates from the professional 
and moral ruin that drink brings. We calculate roughly 
taking our Navy, Coastguard Service, and Boys' Training 
Ships together that about one in every six is a total abstainer. 
A very great help to this temperance work is a monthly 
illustrated paper called Ashore and Afloat, edited by my 
friend and co-trustee, Miss Wintz. It is bright, readable, and 
chatty, and is heartily appreciated by sailors and fishermen 
everywhere. During the past year 380,670 copies have been 
sent to seafaring men. The Missions to Seamen Society, the 
Mission to Deep-Sea Fishermen, and the British and Foreign 
Sailors' Society receive large grants. I would gladly send 
this paper with the Monthly Letter to the American Navy, 
where I know it would be heartily welcomed, and would be 
of much benefit, but I am deterred by the expense. 

Work afloat is calculated to do much good, and I feel 
very thankful that, by the kindness of the Admiralty and of 
commanding officers, I havefsuch liberal access to our war- 

170 Woman s Mission. 

ships, training-ships, Royal Marine Barracks, Royal Naval 
Hospitals, etc. Temperance meetings in these ships are a 
novel sight, and the, hearty greeting that I receive is most 
gratifying. The boatswain's mate pipes the notice of the 
meeting on the lower deck : " Miss Weston's come aboard 
and she's going to spin yer a yarn on the torpedo flat." That 
is sufficient to ensure a crowd of some hundreds. Earnest 
attention is given, many temperance pledges are signed, and 
old friends are met The length of service in our Navy is a 
great help to consecutive work. Ten years is the enlistment 
term, and ten years more for a pension. Thus there are men 
in our Navy now whom I knew as boys twenty years ago. 
When I first paid a visit to Plymouth, one of our great naval 
arsenals, the sailor-boys claimed my interest and attention. 
" Somebody's boys " they certainly were, from all parts of the 
country ; some two thousand let loose on shore twice a week, 
without any home to go to. They were fine young fellows, 
anxious to be thorough sailors, but undoubtedly going on a 
lee shore ! I visited their ships and addressed them there ; 
but I felt that something must be done on shore for these 
boys, and that a teetotal home, which in those days twenty 
years ago had never been tried for Jack, must be attempted. 
Single-handed, I might never have ventured it, or if I had, 
might not have succeeded ; but God, in His good Providence, 
gave me a friend and helper in Miss Wintz, herself belonging 
to a naval family, who became my " chum," as we call it in 
the Navy, and has been so ever since. We determined to do 
something in Plymouth close to her Majesty's Dockyard, 
and in 1876 started a Sailors' Rest, the first of its name and 
kind. Many prophecies were uttered " that the place would 
be shut up in six months," and it was said that to provide 
Jack with such drinks as tea and coffee was a " crank," which 
could only exist in the brain of one or two misguided women. 
However, the answer has been emphatically given by the 
men themselves, after sixteen years' trial. The number sleep- 
ing on our premises last year, at the Plymouth Sailors' Rest, 
was 72,822, and at Portsmouth 42,875, making a total of 
115,637 seamen, comfortably sheltered; besides the many 
who in times of pressure lie about on couches, tables, the 
floors, anywhere. The money taken over our counters during 

Work among Sailors. 171 

the past year amounted to 11,578 los. id.; and after pay- 
ment of all expenses, provision for wear and tear, etc., a 
balance of 1672 is. $d. remained. This money has been 
placed in the " Refreshment Reserve Fund," for use in 
temperance and philanthropic work among sailors ; and 
shows plainly that Sailors' Rests, without the drink, may be 
made to answer well. " Overcrowded in every way," is the 
answer, after sixteen years' work, to the gloomy prognostica- 
tions of those who declared the idea to be Utopian. 

Some broad regulations have contributed much to our 
success. " No blue-jacket or marine ever to be turned from 
the door, even if ' three sheets in the wind.' " " No compulsion 
of any kind to be used to draw men into meetings and classes; 
the men to feel as free as in their own homes." " Men to pay 
a fair price for food, beds, and baths, but to be able to use 
the Sailors' Rest in every other way, without payment." 
What is the result? Many a man once a drunkard, now 
thanks God for the rule that admitted a man in drink. " I'd 
spent every farthing at the Napier Inn," said a man, " and 
was roaring drunk ; they kicked me out into the gutter, and 
I lay there until the people from the Sailors' Rest came 
out, and carried me in, publicans' leavings as I was, and 
through that I turned to a new life ; and says I, God 
bless 'em." 

When the Sailors' Rest was first opened, naturally, as 
now, the publicans looked upon us with no little disfavour ; 
for was not their trade in danger? It was a fair fight, and 
no favour ; beer versus coffee. Generally, we are compelled 
to admit, the brewer's dray carries all before it ; and in 
Plymouth the odds were heavy: nine drink-shops against 
one coffee-house. The publicans loudly proclaimed the 
Sailors' Rest " a disgraceful innovation, a place that ought 
to be crushed by all right-thinking men." " If there is any 
one on earth that I hate, it is that Miss Weston of yours," 
said one of these worthy Bonifaces to my manager; "she 
brings a blight upon all honest trade." This was sad, but 
yet encouraging. The seamen crowded the Sailors' Rest, 
and we did all we could to make them happy ; and as to the 
publicans, we advised them to change their trade to a better 
one, and insured our plate-glass windows, which they had 

172 Woman's Mission. 

threatened to break. A pretty constant changing of land- 
lords, in the six public-houses opposite to us, showed that 
custom was running down ; and the result of the battle was 
that the public-houses were given up. Pulled down, they 
disappeared bodily improved off the ground. Time went on, 
and we held our own ; enlarging the Sailors' Rest, building 
a high block of dormitories, and then a hall on a large scale. 
Still we were crowded out ; and the earnest petition of the 
men was, " Shake out a reef, do shake out a reef." It was 
plain to Miss Wintz and myself that go forward we must. 
If we remained in such an uncomfortable crowded state, 
we should go back. After much consideration and earnest 
prayer we resolved to lessen the men's temptations, by trying 
to get two out of the three public-houses still left between 
ourselves and the Dockyard gates, the Royal Naval Rendez- 
vous and the Napier Inn. It seemed a great enterprise, 
almost an impossibility. The sum of money needed was 
large. Just at the critical moment a gentleman well known 
in the Navy, Mr. Robert Whitehead, inventor of the celebrated 
Whitehead torpedoes, sent a torpedo against the public-houses 
in the shape of a cheque for ^1000 ; others followed, and the 
two grog-shops finally capitulated. Active negotiations were 
now carried on with the owners of the corner public-house, 
the Dock Gates Inn, so that the whole block might be 
captured. About that time I happened to be visiting the 
Royal Naval Hospital, Plymouth. A seaman was lying in 
his bed, in the last stage of consumption ; he had served on 
board one of the turret-ships and had been a picture of health 
and strength. With his skeleton finger he beckoned me to 
his bedside, and between his gasps he whispered into my ear, 
" Have you got the Dock Gates Inn ? " " Not yet," I said, 
" but I believe we shall ; we are praying for it." " And so 
am I," he said earnestly, laying his bony hand on my arm. 
" I am praying to God day and night on my bed to give 
you that place ; there I learned to drink, and the drink has 
brought me here." Poor fellow ! like a sinking boat he was 
going down. Whether he was resting for salvation on Christ 
was not very clear, but his one earthly desire was that the 
public-house that had worked his ruin might be done away 
with. Thank God, this is now accomplished. The large sum 

Work among Sailors. 173 

needed for the purchase of these public-houses and their 
sites was raised ; and when the last barrel of beer was rolled 
out and the houses were closed and the key laid upon my 
table, we all rejoiced that the temptations adjoining the gates 
of H.M. Dockyard had been destroyed. Although there 
were more public-houses further up the street, the first doors 
open to receive our man-o'-war's-men as they left the Govern- 
ment premises would now be those of the " public-house with- 
out the drink." Step by step, the work went on, until a noble 
pile of buildings adjoining the old Sailors' Rest was raised on 
the site of the taverns, and was and is crowded with the 
happy faces of our blue-jackets. This building, with its 
sister building at Portsmouth, is a focus of work for God in 
the Navy. Bright meetings, Gospel, temperance, and social 
classes, naval clubs and benefit societies, and much else make 
Jack's home bright and happy. A staff of devoted workers, 
ladies and others, assist Miss Wintz and myself. We 
are not in debt, and we make the places more than self- 
supporting. The buildings are vested in trustees for continuity 
of work, and well they may be ; as the sum of something 
like ;i 50,000 has been spent upon them. They are the 
head-quarters of the " Royal Naval Temperance Society," 
and the " Royal Naval Christian Union." Nor are the 
wives and little ones, Jack's best bower anchors, forgotten. 
Large meetings of sailors' wives and sailors' children are 
held regularly, winter clubs, savings bank, etc. I roughly 
estimate the attendance during the year at our meetings at 
150,000 seamen, their wives and children, naval pensioners, 
and others, and 50,000 at our Saturday night temperance 
entertainments. My system in the business of the place is 
to throw the coffee-bar open to any one, and yet to keep the 
Institute strictly to seamen and marines, and this plan has 
worked well. Seamen are able to bring wives and friends in, 
the public have the advantage of a coffee-house, and when 
our fleets are absent at sea we are enabled to do sufficient 
business to keep the places going, with something over. I 
should like to see Sailors' Rests, on broad principles, started 
all over the world ; bright and cheery ; the Bible in, the 
drink out. Plenty of colour and looking-glass (we have yet 
to learn that bright colours cost more than dull ones), bright 

174 Woman 's Mission. 

smiles also, and a hearty welcome whether Jack is drunk 
or sober, are indispensable for success ; and meetings, etc., 
should be constantly going on, that he can attend or not 
as he likes. These things draw him from public-houses and 
places of bad resort, and give him the advantages of a happy 
home. A good situation is all-important ; a commanding 
building is also a great attraction. If possible, some one 
should be at the head whom Jack knows, and on whom he 
can bestow that best of titles, "Mother." A committee is 
good, but I hope that I shall not be accused of egotism when 
I say a person is better. True, all this involves the leaving 
of our homes, the giving up of much personal comfort ; but 
the sacrifice is to God, and we get His blessing and the love 
and esteem of the brave men that throng the place. Our 
Royal Family have shown great interest and appreciation, 
and have personally been most kind ; the Admirals, Captains, 
and Chaplains of the British Navy have left nothing undone 
that could lessen my labours ; and I am sure that wherever 
these homes were placed, all the good and the true-hearted 
would rally round them. Our seamen do so much for us, 
we surely owe them gratitude. Our merchant sailors bring 
us all that we need for daily life ; our naval seamen protect 
our commerce, act as police all over the world, guard our 
hearths and homes, and are ready at any time to sacrifice 
their lives for their country, as has been shown again and 
again. If the gold, silver, and bronze medals of the Royal 
Humane Society are given away, they are generally presented 
to seamen. Are the slaves set free, under a burning African 
sun? It is to the blue-jackets that they owe their liberty. 
Bishop Crowther, of Sierra Leone, told with tears in his eyes 
how he owed his life, his all, to the seamen. They captured 
the slaver in which, as a child, he was bound hand and foot, 
and set himself and his mother free, loading them with 
kindness. "Never, never," said he, "shall I forget the ships 
or the blue-jackets, God bless them." As a living proof that 
the work has taken deep hold on the Navy, there is the 
fact that every year a fleet has been mobilized I have been 
able to band together temperance and Christian men in each 
ship to carry out work for God. Every national navy, and 
I would say also every merchant navy, should have some 

Work among Sailors. 175 

organization on board each ship able to foster this life of 
godliness. " Without men of a high moral stamp," said the 
late Chief Constructor of Portsmouth Dockyard, " our modern 
intricate ships can never be manoeuvred." True, moral men 
we must have, and Christian men are best of all. May this 
be realized internationally, and may the motto of every navy 
be, "Defence, not Defiance." 

I wish that I could give a better account than will be 
possible, of other work in the same direction ; but I have 
gathered some information as to the working of Sailors' 
Rests in England and other places. The Missions to 
Seamen Society has done and is doing excellent work, prin- 
cipally in the Merchant Service. They have thirty-five 
Seamen's Institutes, in thirty-one seaports ; sixteen mission- 
rooms in fifteen seaports ; and fourteen churches in fourteen 
seaports. The idea is to provide companionship, recreation, 
instruction, and worship. The larger ports are better provided 
than the smaller ones ; the best buildings being at Cardiff, 
Bristol, Sunderland, South Shields, Newport (Mon.), Liver- 
pool, Maryport, and Southampton. They are open without 
payment to seamen of all nations and creeds. The society 
aims at providing on the ground floor a large, well-lighted 
hall, supplied with newspapers, books, harmless games, writ- 
ing materials, etc. Lectures and entertainments are given 
in this room, and there is also an officers' room. A gymna- 
sium, with classrooms for instruction in navigation, Bible 
classes, etc., are a part of the scheme. The church, on the 
top floor, is used for mission services on week-days and 
Sundays, including the administration of the Lord's Supper. 
There is no sleeping accommodation for seamen in these 
institutes. That the institutes are valued is shown by the 
numbers frequenting them, and by the pledges against 
drink. It is estimated that, in the course of the year, 
at several of the institutes, from two to three thousand 
different sailors attend week-day services. " The dual insti- 
tute, half church and half institute, is," says Commander 
Dawson, "a great success. It is greatly valued by sailors 
as a place of refuge. We are supplementing the mission- 
rooms by these new buildings, in which the place of worship 

176 Woman's Mission. 

is under the same roof as the place of recreation, the latter 
being the feeder of the former." 

The British and Foreign Seamen's Society is another of 
the great agencies brought to bear on seamen all over the 
world. It has its head-quarters in Shadwell, the East of 
London, its boats on the Thames, and its institutes, including 
Lady Ashburton's Sailors' Rest, at the Docks. Its agencies 
are found all over the world, as well as round the coasts of 
the United Kingdom. The British and Foreign Seamen's 
Society believes that it has a mission to sailors, large as the 
manifold nature of man, and wide as the sea. This society 
is the oldest of our sailors' societies. Its flag is borne by 
249 shipmasters and fifty-four helpers on all seas. It has 
active relationship with eighty-three ports. In these ports 
are seventy-two institutes, Bethels, rests, reading-rooms, or 
homes, and three floating Bethels. By the munificence of 
Louisa, Lady Ashburton, a fine pile of buildings for the 
benefit of seamen has been built at the Victoria and Albert 
Docks, and another at the Millwall Docks, on the river 
Thames. These are both worked by agents of the society. 
The work of this society is so extensive that it is impossible 
to chronicle it here. 

The Wesleyan Army and Navy Committee have done 
much for the good of seamen of the Royal Navy. They 
have Homes at Chatham, Devonport, Pembroke, Malta, 
Bombay, Simon's Town, and Sydney, N.S.W. The Homes 
are open to all denominations, but are especially intended 
as a rendezvous for Wesleyans in the service. The Rev. 
J. Laverack, writing from Malta, says, "The Soldiers' and 
Sailors' Home, Floriana, Malta, was established in 1871, 
and has remained open without charge to soldiers and sailors. 
Such has been its prosperity that enlargement after enlarge- 
ment has been necessary, and for some years it has supported 
itself by the profits on the business. It contains refreshment,, 
reading, writing, and recreation rooms, lecture-room, prayer- 
room, beds, baths, etc. Religious and temperance meetings 
are held regularly. The home is under the direction of the 
officiating Wesleyan chaplain. 

In Madeira, at Funchal, an undenominational Sailors' 
Rest is carried on by Mr. W. G. Smart ; it was opened in 

Work among Sailors. 177 

1882, and three thousand men entered the Rest in one year. 
Mr. Smart visits all ships, English and American, and does 
good work. In Yokohama, Japan, the Rev. W. and Mrs. 
Austen have an excellent home for seamen, which is fre- 
quented by large numbers. Our British seamen speak 
warmly of the kindness and friendliness shown to them by 
Mr. and Mrs. Austen, who have been the means of saving 
numbers from destruction, moral and spiritual. 

The Rev. J. Shearston, of Sydney, N.S.W., has built and 
opened a splendid home for seamen, which is thoroughly 
appreciated by the men on that distant station. 

I might mention many others, but the limit of this paper 
warns me to draw to a close, or in nautical language to 
" pipe down." 

Sailors' Homes founded on broad lines, undenominational, 
catholic, bright, teetotal, with (if possible) a personal and 
motherly element pervading them, where Jack can feel free 
and happy, where he may smoke his pipe, play his games, 
read his paper, yarn with his shipmates where, if necessary, 
his money can be taken care of as well as himself, and where 
he can be won to temperance and godliness these are in- 
deed needed at every port all over the civilized world ; so 
that Jack may find friends as well as foes wherever he lands, 
and may be indeed the brave, true, God-fearing man that 
can guard his country or extend her commerce. 


178 Woman's Mission. 




Atithoress of" The Schonberg-Cotta Family" 

THE object of this Home is to minister to those for whose 
restoration to health human aid can do no more, to alleviate 
the last sufferings of hopeless disease, and to raise the hearts 
of the sufferers to the immortal hopes which Christianity 
reveals beyond death. 

Hospitals must keep to their great purpose of fighting, 
and if possible conquering, disease. When all hope of success 
in this great battle is gone, the place of the patient who can- 
not be restored to health, has to be yielded to another of the 
great multitude of sick folk always in need of healing, who 
may be healed. And the hopeless dying sufferer has to be 
sent back, in many cases, to a home where skilled nursing is 
impossible and suitable diet unattainable ; has to be trans- 
ferred from a place where every possible remedy and allevia- 
tion that medical science and trained nursing can invent and 
apply, are given with unstinted generosity, to be a burden, 
and often a source of infection, in the impoverished home 
where none of these comforts can be had, though the loving 
hearts there would, and do give their life-blood in wearing 
toil and privation to procure them. 

The only alternative is the workhouse infirmary, which, 
greatly as the management and nursing are improved, is by 
the mere necessity of its being open to the lowest, a hard 
last refuge for those who have been brought up respectably, 
and have resolutely struggled to keep up the comfort and 
sacredness of a home. 

" Friedenheim " Home of Peace for the Dying. 1 79 

It is at this point of hopeless need that the door of this 
Home is opened to the sufferer. It is essentially woman's 
work, and seven years ago this particular kind of misery was 
pressed on the heart of Miss Davidson, the foundress of 
" Friedenheim." She started with her own funds, and opened 
a small house where five men and five women could be 
received. To this work she devoted herself entirely, herself 
and all she had in her power ; and with the help of friends 
carried it on for six years. One hundred and seventy patients 
were welcomed there, and of these eighty-three died in the 
Home, full of thankfulness for the efficient and loving care 
which had brightened and sustained the last hours of feeble- 
ness and pain. 

Through Miss Davidson's efforts the demand for the 
extension of such a work became evident to many medical 
men and others, who had long felt the need, and now saw 
it practically met. With the help of friends, Miss Davidson 
has purchased the lease (for fifty years) of a most suitable 
house in Upper Avenue Road, close to Swiss Cottage 
Station, in the northern outskirts of London, in which 
she can now receive forty patients. The house is large 
and airy, with lofty, sunny rooms, wide hall and staircases ; 
and a lift has been supplied. There is a separate wing 
for the staff of trained lady nurses and probationers. The 
large garden ensures fresh air and quiet. The men are on 
the first floor, the women on the next, both floors having 
balconies to the south ; and there is a third floor especially 
intended for those who have known better days, and who will 
be thankful to contribute according to their means. The new 
Home was opened on November 7, 1892, by the Duchess of 
Teck. It is called "Friedenheim" (Home of Peace), and 
those who have seen it recognize the appropriateness of the 
name, and what the peace is to the poor dying sufferers, of 
knowing they have found a haven from which they will be 
tossed out no more. The Home has been found especially 
welcome in cases of consumption which ordinary hospitals do 
not receive, and which even hospitals expressly intended for 
them, by the very nature and aim of a hospital as a place of 
cure, cannot retain when cure is impossible. Friedenheim is 
entirely supported by voluntary subscriptions. Two similar 

180 Woman 1 s Mission. 

homes have been lately begun, suggested by it ; one in 
Holland, and another in London.* 

A brief account of a visit paid to the Home may give a 
clearer idea than general statements can of what it is 

The first characteristic that impresses you is that it is 
a home, and not a mere institution for temporary assistance. 
The fact of its having been a real home, dear to a family, 
tends to produce the impression. Not mere necessaries, but 
comfort and beauty, have been thought of in the making of 
it. The former owner, in giving it up for a quarter of the 
sum it had cost him, said he liked to think how pleased his 
wife would have been to know that the sunny rooms which 
had been so pleasant to her in her long last illness would be 
a comfort to others. One sees this home-like character in 
every arrangement ; in the neat and pretty little trays and 
services for the meals in bed, in the wards, kitchens, and 
pantries. The furniture has not been bought in quantities 
monotonously alike. It is a collection of gifts. One kind 
old gentleman, a widower, not caring to keep up his house 
alone, and choosing to end his days in lodgings, sent all his 
furniture, four van-loads, to Friedenheim ; and others have 
supplemented the generous gift with various things pleasant 
to the eye, and good for use. There are pictures in the hall, 
in the sitting-room of the staff-nurses, good carpets, hand- 
some tables and chairs, bookcases, inlaid cabinets, and in 
the wards comfortable easy-chairs, invalid couches, and 
screens. One lady in her last illness left to the Home all 
the appliances, bed-table, bed-rest, and other things, which 
had been a relief to her. There is no dull uniformity in the 
invalid dress, or bed-coverings, or anything. On the walls 
are illuminated texts, on the chimney-pieces are pictures, and 
photographs of those after whom some of the wards are 
named. Over one fireplace is the portrait of the young Duke 
of Clarence presented by the Princess May ; over another, in 
the Frederica Ward, the lovely bright face of Frederica 
Dunbar, the " friend " to whom the Duchess of Teck alluded 

* There is also a hospice for the dying in Dublin, of which a touching 
account is given by Mrs. Gilbert at the close of her Paper " On the Philanthropic 
Work of Women in Ireland." B.-C. 

" Friedenheim " Home of Peace for the Dying. 1 8 1 

so tenderly in her speech on the opening day. The three 
paying wards were named after the Princess Christian and 
her daughters, when she visited Friedenheim privately, 
entering into every detail with comprehending sympathy and 
interest. But the real pathetic reason for this look of home 
in the place is from its essential nature. Those who enter 
there are not passing through, after a brief stay of a few 
weeks. They have the inexpressible sense of repose given 
by the knowledge that they need never go away. The weary 
search for fresh "letters," the fear of wearing out their 
welcome, or overtaxing the resources of relations or friends, 
are gone for ever. They are welcome here as long as they can 
stay, as long as they have anything to do with our poor 
earthly needs. They are no burden to any one. The Home 
is their own meant for them, made for them. The longer 
the feeble failing strength can be upheld, the better the 
devoted nurses will be pleased. Every alleviation of suffer- 
ing is a victory of love and patience. The skill of the trained 
nursing is not wasted because it is preparing for the rest and 
service of the Home above, instead of a return to the toil and 
struggle here. The ceaseless services endear patients and 
nurses to each other. They do not wish to part : the poor 
sufferers will be missed when the last tender ministry has 
been rendered. 

And need I say how the atmosphere of peace and tender- 
ness opens the hearts of the sufferers to comprehend the love 
which inspires it, to anticipate the perfect peace of the place 
in the Father's House that love is preparing ? Christianity, 
in all the unfathomable depths of its love and peace, steals 
softly into hearts so surrounded with its loveliest fruits. 
They breathe-in new faith in goodness, in happiness, in 
Christ the Redeemer and Healer, in the Father who "even 
as a father pities his children," pities each of them. The 
doubt of Divine goodness, the struggle with the Divine will, 
melt imperceptibly away. Trust, submission, acquiescence, 
thankfulness, peace, hope, joy, flow softly into heart after 
heart : those who are with them see it in the change in the 
worn and furrowed faces of those, for instance, who are there 
at this moment. 

In one corner of the men's ward lies a postman, one of 

182 Woman s Mission. 

those who serve us so faithfully through cold and heat, night 
and day. His last journey in our service is done ; no need to 
struggle through another day's round. He is not too ill to 
find refreshment in being moved by day to an invalid couch, 
and there it is for him by the cosy fireside. In another corner 
is one whose life has been a waste of many opportunities 
faithfully watched over and helped by a good brother, and 
never despaired of through all the turns upward and falls 
downward ; now at last gently won back by repentance, and 
faith in Him Who seeks until He finds. Those in this Home 
would never be content unless the reproach rest on it, " This 
Man receiveth sinners," unless it could give restoration to the 
lives that have failed, as well as completion to those who have 

In one of the women's wards is a touching group of six. 
One is a servant, who said with beaming face and trembling 
voice, " Every comfort that heart could wish ; " having minis- 
tered to others, she is now tenderly ministered to herself. 
Another is a sick nurse, receiving what she has given to 
many. Her eyes are weak, and there are plans for shading 
them from the light. In one corner is a crippled girl of 
seventeen ; for six years she was well cared for in a Home for 
Crippled Children, where it is not possible, with justice to the 
other inmates, to give the care needed for the last difficult 
days. Another, with the delicate beauty of consumption, is 
propped up on her pillows, happy in being able to help for 
a little while by sewing at a nurse's apron. She is an orphan 
without any relations. She worked to the last moment in a 
laundry ; and when her strength failed, friends had cared for 
her to the extent of their power. In another ward is a young 
married woman who had no friends to nurse her, and whose 
husband had to be out all day to earn the daily bread. When 
she first came the bitterness of death was not on her, and 
there was revolt against the loss of all that was dear to her 
in life. But all that gently melted into trust and peace. 
She had a quiet nook to herself screened off, where her 
husband could be with her alone whenever he came. 

It is, indeed, no mere work of benevolence, granting what 
cannot in justice be refused. It is love, giving as much as it 
can ceaselessly on the watch, with tender inventiveness, to 

" Friedenheim " Home of Peace for the Dying. 183 

relieve each individual pang and uneasiness. Suffering only 
quickens its tenderness ; sin calls out the deepest yearnings of 
its compassion. 

The Christian religion has remedies not only for those 
weary with the sorrows of life, but for those wounded or 
crippled by its sins. It meets them not only with the angels' 
hymn of good will to men, but with the redeeming agony, 
the " Father, forgive them," of the Cross. The love with which 
they have been loved is, indeed, love stronger than death 
love which abolishes death, living through death and beyond 
it, in the life beyond it for ever ; and, therefore, love which 
inspires and enables those loving Christian women to make 
a home for the dying. 

184 Woman's Mission. 


I. A NEW art and a new science has been created since and 
within the last forty years. And with it a new profession 
so they say ; we say, calling. One would think this had 
been created or discovered for some new want or local want. 
Not so. The want is nearly as old as the world, nearly as 
large as the world, as pressing as life or death. It is that of 
sickness. And the art is that of nursing the sick. Please 
m ark nursing the sick ; not nursing sickness. We will call 
the art nursing proper. This is generally practised by women 
under scientific heads physicians and surgeons. This is 
one of the distinctions between nursing proper and medicine, 
though a very famous and successful physician did say, when 
asked how he treated pneumonia : " I do not treat pneumonia, 
I treat the person who has pneumonia." This is the reason 
why nursing proper can only be taught by the patient's bed- 
side, and in the sick-room or ward. Neither can it be taught 
by lectures or by books, though these are valuable accessories, 
if used as such ; otherwise what is in the book stays in the 

II. But since God did not mean mothers to be always 
accompanied by doctors, there is a want older still and larger 
still. And a new science has also been created to meet it, but 
not the accompanying art, as far as households are concerned, 
families, schools, workshops ; though it is an art which con- 
cerns every family in the world, which can only be taught 
from the home in the home. 

This is the art of health, which every mother, girl, mistress, 
teacher, child's nurse, every woman ought practically to learn. 

Sick-nursing and Health-nursing. 185 

But she is supposed to know it all by instinct, like a bird. 
Call it health-nursing or general nursing what you please. 
Upon womankind the national health, as far as the household 
goes, depends. She must recognize the laws of life, the laws 
of health, as the nurse proper must recognize the laws of 
sickness, the causes of sickness, the symptoms of the disease, 
or the symptoms, it may be, not of the disease, but of the 
nursing, bad or good. 

It is the want of the art of health, then, of the cultivation 
of health, which has only lately been discovered ; and great 
organizations have been made to meet it, and a whole litera- 
ture created. We have medical officers of health ; immense 
sanitary works. We have not nurses, " missioners " of 

How to bring these great medical officers to bear on the 
families, the homes and households, and habits of the people, 
rich as well as poor, has not been discovered, although family 
comes before Acts of Parliament. One would think " family " 
had no health to look after. And woman, the great mistress 
of family life, by whom everybody is born, has not been 
practically instructed at all. Everything has come before 
health. We are not to look after health, but after sickness. 
Well, we are to be convinced of error before we are convinced 
of right ; the discovery of sin comes before the discovery of 
righteousness, we are told on the highest authority. 

Though everybody must be born, there is probably no 
knowledge more neglected than this, nor more important for 
the great mass of women, viz. how to feed, wash, and clothe 
the baby, and how to secure the utmost cleanliness for 
mother and infant. Midwives certainly neither practise nor 
teach it. And I have even been informed that many lady 
doctors consider that they have " nothing to do with the 
baby," and that they should "lose caste with the men 
doctors" if they attempted it. One would have thought 
that the " ladies " " lost caste " with themselves for not doing 
it, and that it was the veiy reason why we wished for the 
" lady doctors," for them to assume these cares which touch 
the very health of everybody from the beginning. But I 
have known the most admirable exceptions to this most 
cruel rule. 

1 86 Woman s Mission. 

I know of no systematic teaching, for the ordinary 
midwife or the ordinary mother, how to keep' the baby in 
health, certainly the most important function to make 
a healthy nation. The human baby is not an invalid ; but 
it is the most tender form of animal life. This is only 
one, but a supremely important instance of the want of 

III. As the discovery of error comes before that of right, 
both in order and in fact, we will take first: (a) Sickness, 
nursing the sick ; training needful ; () Health, nursing the 
well at home ; practical teaching needful. We will then 
refer to (IV.) some dangers to which nurses are subject ; 
(V.) the benefit of combination ; and (VI.) our hopes for the 

What is sickness ? Sickness or disease is Nature's way 
of getting rid of the effects of conditions which have 
interfered with health. It is Nature's attempt to cure. 
We have to help her. Diseases are, practically speaking, 
adjectives, not noun substantives. What is health ? Health 
is not only to be well, but to be able to use well every power 
we have. What is nursing ? Both kinds of nursing are to 
put us in the best possible conditions for Nature to restore 
or to preserve health to prevent or to cure disease or injury. 
Upon nursing proper, under scientific heads, physicians or 
surgeons, must depend partly, perhaps mainly, whether 
Nature succeeds or fails in her attempts to cure by sickness. 
Nursing proper is therefore to help the patient suffering from 
disease to live just as health-nursing is to keep or put the 
constitution of the healthy child or human being in such a 
state as to have no disease. 

What is training? Training is to teach the nurse to 
help the patient to live. Nursing the sick is an art, and an 
art requiring an organized, practical, and scientific training ; 
for nursing is the skilled servant of medicine, surgery, and 
hygiene. A good nurse of twenty years ago had not to do 
the twentieth part of what she is required by her physician 
or surgeon to do now ; and so, after the year's training, she 
must be still training under instruction in her first and even 
second year's hospital service. The physician prescribes for 
supplying the vital force, but the nurse supplies it. Training 

Sick-nursing and Health-nursing. 187 

is to teach the nurse how God makes health, and how He 
makes disease. Training is to teach a nurse to know her 
business, that is, to observe exactly, to understand, to know 
exactly, to do, to tell exactly, in such stupendous issues as 
life and death, health and disease. Training has to make 
her, not servile, but loyal to medical orders and authorities. 
True loyalty to orders cannot be without the independent 
sense or energy of responsibility, which alone secures real 
trustworthiness. Training is to teach the nurse how to 
handle the agencies within our control which restore health 
and life, in strict, intelligent obedience to the physician's or 
surgeon's power and knowledge ; how to keep the health 
mechanism prescribed to her in gear. Training must show 
her how the effects on life of nursing may be calculated with 
nice precision, such care or carelessness, such a sick-rate, 
such a duration of case, such a death-rate. 

What is discipline? Discipline is the essence of moral 
training. The best lady-trainer of probationer nurses I know 
says, " It is education, instruction, training all that, in fact, 
goes to the full development of our faculties, moral, physical, 
and spiritual, not only for this life, but looking on this life as 
the training-ground for the future and higher life. Then 
discipline embraces order, method ; and as we gain some 
knowledge of the laws of Nature (' God's laws '), we not only 
see order, method, a place for everything, each its own work, 
but we find no waste of material or force or space ; we find, 
too, no hurry, and we learn to have patience with our circum- 
stances and ourselves ; and so, as we go on learning, we 
become more disciplined, more content to work where we are 
placed, more anxious to fill our appointed work than to see 
the result thereof. And so God, no doubt, gives us the 
required patience and steadfastness to continue in our ' blessed 
drudgery/ which is the discipline He sees best for most of us." 

What makes a good training-school for nurses ? The 
most favourable conditions for the administration of the 
hospital are : 

First. A good lay administration with a chief executive 
officer, a civilian (be he called treasurer or permanent chair- 
man of committee), with power delegated to him by the 
committee, who gives his time. This is the main thing. 

1 88 W&mcwis Mission. 

With a consulting committee, meeting regularly, of business 
men, taking the opinions of the medical officers. The medical 
officers on the committee must be only consulting medical 
officers, not executive. If the latter, they have often to judge 
in their own case, which is fatal. Doctors are not necessarily 
administrators (the executive), any more than the executive 
are necessarily doctors. Vest the charge of financial matters 
and general supervision, and the whole administration of the 
hospital or infirmary, in the board or committee acting 
through the permanent chairman or other officer who is re- 
sponsible to that board or committee. 

Secondly. A strong body of medical officers, visiting and 
resident, and a medical school. 

Thirdly. The government of hospitals in the point of 
view of the real responsibility for the conduct and discipline 
of the nurses being thrown upon the matron (superintendent 
of nurses), who is herself a trained nurse, and the real head of 
all the female staff of the hospital. Vest the whole respon- 
sibility for nursing, internal management, for discipline and 
training of nurses in this one female head of the nursing staff, 
whatever called. She should be herself responsible directly 
to the constituted hospital authorities, and all her nurses and 
servants should, in the performance of their duties, be respon- 
sible, in matters of conduct and discipline, to her only. No 
good ever comes of the constituted authorities placing them- 
selves in the office which they have sanctioned her occupying. 
No good ever comes of any one interfering between the head 
of the nursing establishment and her nurses. It is fatal to 
discipline. Without such discipline the main object of the 
whole hospital organization, viz. to carry out effectively the 
orders of the physicians and surgeons with regard to the 
treatment of the patients, will not be attained. 

Having then, as a basis, a well-organized hospital, we re- 
quire, as further conditions: (l) a special organization for tJie 
purpose of training, that is, where systematic technical training 
is given in the wards to the probationers ; where it is the 
business of the ward " sisters " to train them, to keep records 
of their progress, to take " stock " of them ; where the pro- 
bationers are not set down in the wards to " pick up " as 
they can. (2) A good " home " for the probationers in the 

Sick-nursing and Health-nursing. 189 

hospital, where they learn moral discipline for technical 
training is only half the battle, perhaps less than half where 
the probationers are steadily "mothered" by a "home" 
sister (class mistress). 

(3) Staff of training school, (a) A trained matron over 
all, who is not only a housekeeper, but distinctly the head 
and superintendent of the nursing, (b} A " home " sister 
(assistant superintendent) making the " home " a real home 
to the probationers, giving them classes, disciplining their 
life, (c) Ward Sisters (head nurses of wards) who have 
been trained in the school to a certain degree permanent, 
that is, not constantly changing. For they are the key to 
the whole situation, matron influencing through them nurses 
(day and night), probationers, ward-maids, patients. For, 
after all, the hospital is for the good of the patients, not 
for the good of the nurses. And the patients are not there 
to teach probationers upon. Rather, probationers had better 
not be there at all, unless they understand that they are 
there for the patients, and not for themselves. 

There should be an entente cordiale between matron, 
assistant matrons, "home" sister, and whatever other 
female head there is, with frequent informal meetings, ex- 
changing information, or there can be no unity in training. 

Nursing proper means, besides giving the medicines and 
stimulants prescribed, or the surgical appliances, the proper 
use of fresh air (ventilation), light, warmth, cleanliness, quiet, 
and the proper choosing and giving of diet, all at the least 
expense of vital power to the sick. And so health-at-home 
nursing means exactly the same proper use of the same 
natural elements, with as much life-giving power as possible 
to the healthy. 

We have awakened, though still far from the mark, to the 
need of training or teaching for nursing proper. But while 
a large part of so-called civilization has been advancing 
in direct opposition to the laws of health, we uncivilized 
persons, the women, in whose hands rests the health of 
babies, household health, still persevere in thinking health 
something that grows of itself (as Topsy said, "God made 
me so long, and I grow'd the rest myself"), while we don't 
take the same care of human health as we do of that of our 

igo Woman s Mission. 

plants, which, we know very well, perish in the rooms, dark 
and close, to which we too often confine human beings, 
especially in their sleeping-roorns and workshops. 

The life-duration of babies is the most " delicate test " of 
health conditions. What is the proportion of the whole 
population of cities or country which dies before it is five 
years old? We have tons of printed knowledge on the 
subject of hygiene and sanitation. The causes of enormous 
child mortality are perfectly well known ; they are chiefly 
want of cleanliness, want of fresh air, careless dieting and 
clothing, want of white-washing, dirty feather-beds and 
bedding in one word, want of household care of health. The 
remedies are just as well known ; but how much of this know- 
ledge has been brought into the homes and households and 
habits of the people, poor or even rich ? Infection, germs, 
and the like are now held responsible as carriers of disease. 
" Mystic rites/' such as disinfection and antiseptics, take the 
place of sanitary measures and hygiene. 

The true criterion of ventilation, for instance, is to step 
out of the bedroom or sick-room in the morning into the 
open air. If on returning to it you feel the least sensation 
of closeness, the ventilation has not been enough, and that 
room has been unfit for either sick or well to sleep in. Here 
is the natural test provided for the evil. 

The laws of God the laws of life are always conditional, 
always inexorable. But neither mothers, nor schoolmistresses, 
nor nurses of children are practically taught how to work 
within those laws, which God has assigned to the relations of 
our bodies with the world in which He has put them. In 
other words, we do not study, we do not practise the laws 
which make these bodies, into which He has put our minds, 
healthy or unhealthy organs of those minds ; we do not 
practise how to give our children healthy existences. 

It would be utterly unfair to lay all the fault upon us 
women, none upon the buildings, drains, water-supply. There 
are millions of cottages, more of town dwellings, even of the 
rich, where it is utterly impossible to have fresh air. 

As for the workshops, workpeople should remember that 
health is their only capital, and they should come to an 
understanding among themselves not only to have the means, 

Sick-nursing and Health-nursing. 191 

but to use the means to secure pure air in their places of 
work, which is one of the prime agents of health. This 
would be worth a " Trades Union," almost worth a strike. 

And the crowded National or Board School in it how 
many children's epidemics have their origin ! And the great 
school dormitories ! Scarlet fever and measles would be no 
more ascribed to " current contagion," or to " something being 
much about this year," but to its right cause ; nor would 
"plague and pestilence" be said to be "in God's hands," 
when, so far as we know, He has put them into our own. 

The chief "epidemic" that reigns this year is "folly." 
You must form public opinion. The generality of officials 
will only do what you make them. You, the public, must 
make them do what you want. But while public opinion, or 
the voice of the people, is somewhat awake to the building 
and drainage question, it is not at all awake to teaching 
mothers and girls practical hygiene. Where, then, is the 
remedy for this ignorance ? 

Health in the home can only be learnt from the home and 
in the home. Some eminent medical officers, referring to 
ambulance lectures, nursing lectures, the fashionable hygienic 
lectures of the day, have expressed the opinion that we do 
no more than play with our subject when we "sprinkle" 
lectures over the community, as that kind of teaching is not 
instruction, and can never be education ; that as medicine 
and surgery can, like nursing, only be properly .taught and 
properly learnt in the sick-room and by the patient's side, so 
sanitation can only be properly taught and properly learned 
in the home and house. Some attempts have been made 
practically to realize this, to which subsequent reference will 
be made. 

Wise men tell us that it is expecting too much to suppose 
that we shall do any real good by giving a course of lectures 
on selected subjects in medicine, anatomy, physiology, and 
other such cognate subjects, all " watered down " to suit the 
public palate, which is really the sort of thing one tries to do 
in that kind of lectures. 

It is surely not enough to say, "The people are much 
interested in the lecture." The point is, Did they practise the 
lecture in their own homes afterwards ? did they really apply- 

192 Women's Mission. 

themselves to household health and the means of improving 
it ? Is anything better worth practising for mothers than the 
health of their families ? 

The work we are speaking of has nothing to do with 
nursing disease, but with maintaining health by removing the 
things which disturb it, which have been summed up in the 
population in general as "dirt, drink, diet, damp, draughts, 

But in fact the people do not believe in sanitation as 
affecting health, as preventing disease. They think it is a 
"fad" of the doctors and rich people. They believe in 
catching cold and in infection, catching complaints from 
each other, but not from foul earth, bad air, or impure water. 
May not some remedy be found for these evils by direct- 
ing the attention of the public to the training of health- 
nurses, as has already been done with regard to the training 
of sick-nurses ? 

The scheme before referred to for health-at-home nursing 
has arisen in connection with the newly-constituted adminis- 
tration of counties in England, by which the local authority 
of the county (County Council) has been invested by Act 
of Parliament with extended sources of income applicable to 
the teaching of nursing and sanitary knowledge, in addition 
to the powers which they already possessed for sanitary 
inspection and the prevention of infectious diseases. This 
scheme is framed for rural districts, but the general principles 
are also applicable to urban populations, though, where great 
numbers are massed together, a fresh set of difficulties must 
be met, and different treatment be necessary. 

The scheme contemplates the training of ladies, so-called 
health missioners, so as to qualify them to give instruction 
to village mothers in: (i) The sanitary condition of the 
person, clothes and bedding, and house. (2) The manage- 
ment of health of adults, women before and after confine- 
ments, infants and children. The teaching by the health 
missioners would be given by lectures in the villages, followed 
by personal instruction by way of conversation with the 
mothers in their own homes, and would be directed to : (i) 
The condition of the homes themselves in a sanitary point 
of view ; (2) the essential principles of keeping the body in 

Sick-nursing and Health-nursing. 193 

health, with reference to the skin, the circulation, and the 
digestion ; and (3) instruction as to what to do in cases of 
emergency or accident before the doctor comes, and with 
reference to the management of infants and children. 

In the addendum to this paper will be found a scheme 
for training health-at-home missioners, a syllabus of lectures 
given by the medical officer to the health missioners, and a 
syllabus of health lectures given by the health missioners to 
village mothers. 

IV. Dangers. After only a generation of nursing arise 
the dangers : ( i ) Fashion on the one side, and its conse- 
quent want of earnestness. (2) Mere money-getting on the 
other. Woman does not live by wages alone. (3) Making 
nursing a profession, and not a calling. 

What is it to feel a calling for anything ? Is it not to do 
our work in it to satisfy the high idea of what is the right, 
the best, and not because we shall be found out if we don't 
do it ? This is the " enthusiasm " which every one, from a 
shoemaker to a sculptor, must have in order to follow his 
" calling " properly. Now, the nurse has to do not with shoes 
or with marble, but with living human beings. 

How, then, to keep up the high tone of a calling, to 
" make your calling and election sure " ? By fostering that 
bond of sympathy (esprit de corps] which community of aims 
and of action in good work induces. A common nursing 
home in the hospital for hospital nurses and for probationer 
nurses ; a common home for private nurses during intervals 
of engagements, whether attached to a hospital, or separate ; 
a home for district nurses (wherever possible), where four or 
five can live together ; all homes under loving, trained, moral, 
and religious, as well as technical, superintendence, such as 
to keep up the tone of the inmates with constant supply of 
all material wants and constant sympathy. Man cannot live 
by bread alone, still less woman. Wages is not the only 
question, but high home-helps. 

The want of these is more especially felt among private 
nurses. The development in recent years of trained private 
nursing, z>. of nursing one sick or injured person at a time 
at home, is astonishing. But not less astonishing the want 
of knowledge of what training is, and, indeed, of what 


194 Woman's Mission. 

woman is. The danger is that the private nurse may become 
an irresponsible nomad. She has no home. There can be 
no esprit de corps if the " corps " is an indistinguishable mass 
of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of women unknown to her, 
except, perhaps, by a name in a register. All community of 
feeling and higher tone absents itself. And too often the 
only aim left is to force up wages. Absence of the nursing 
home is almost fatal to keeping up to the mark. Night 
nurses even in hospitals, and even district nurses (another 
branch of trained nursing of the sick poor without alms- 
giving, which has developed recently),* and, above all, private 
nurses, deteriorate if they have no esprit de corps, no com- 
mon home under wise and loving supervision for intervals 
between engagements. What they can get in holidays, in 
comforts, in money, these good women say themselves, is an 
increasing danger to many. In private nursing the nurse 
is sometimes spoilt, sometimes " put upon," sometimes both. 

In the last few years, private trained nursing, district 
trained nursing, have, as has been said, gained immeasurably 
in importance, and with it how to train, how to govern (in 
the sense of keeping up to the highest attainable in tone and 
character, as well as in technical training), must gain also 
immeasurably in importance, must constitute almost a new 
starting-point. Nursing may cease to be a calling in any 
better sense than millinery is. To have a life of freedom, 
with an interesting employment, for a few years to do as 
little as you can and amuse yourself as much as you can, is 
possibly a danger pressing on. 

(4) There is another danger, perhaps the greatest of all. 
It is also a danger which grows day by day. It is this : as 
literary education and colleges for women to teach literary 
work start and multiply and improve, some, even of the 
very best women, believe that everything can be taught by 
book and lecture, and tested by examination that memory 
is the great step to excellence. 

Can you teach horticulture or agriculture by books, e.g. 
describing the different manures, artificial and natural, and 
their purposes ? The being able to know every clod, and 
adapt the appropriate manure to it, is the real thing. Could 

* See Addendum. 

Sick-nursing and Health-nursing. 195 

you teach painting by giving, e.g., Fuseli's " Lectures " ? Fuseli 
himself said, when asked how he mixed his colours, " With 
brains, sir " that is, practice guided by brains. But you have 
another, a quite other sort of a thing to do with nursing ; 
for you have to do with living bodies and living minds, and 
feelings of both body and mind. 

It is said that you give examinations and certificates to 
plumbers, engineers, etc. But it is impossible to compare 
nurses with plumbers, or carpenters, or engineers, or even 
with gardeners. The main, the tremendous difference is that 
nurses have to do with these living bodies and no less living 
minds ; for the life is not vegetable life, nor mere animal life, 
but it is human life with living, that is, conscious forces, 
not electric or gravitation forces, but human forces. If you 
examine at all, you must examine all day long, current 
examination, current supervision, as to what the nurse is 
doing with this double, this damaged life entrusted to her. 

The physician or surgeon gives his orders, generally his 
conditional orders, perhaps once or twice a day, perhaps not 
even that. The nurse has to carry them out, with intelligence 
of conditions, every minute of the twenty-four hours. 

The nurse must have method, self-sacrifice, watchful 
activity, love of the work, devotion to duty (that is, the 
service of the good), the courage, the coolness of the soldier, 
the tenderness of the mother, the absence of the prig (that is, 
never thinking that she has attained perfection or that there 
is nothing better). She must have a threefold interest in her 
work an intellectual interest in the case, a (much higher) 
hearty interest in the patient, a technical (practical) interest in 
the patient's care and cure. She must not look upon patients 
as made for nurses, but upon nurses as made for patients. 

There may also now I only say may with all this depend- 
ence on literary lore in nurse-training, be a real danger of 
being satisfied with diagnosis, or with looking too much at 
the pathology of the case, without cultivating the resource or 
intelligence for the thousand and one means of mitigation, 
even where there is no cure. 

And never, never let the nurse forget that she must look 
for the fault of the nursing, as much as for the fault of the 
disease, in the symptoms of the patient. 

196 Woman s Mission. 

(5) Forty or fifty years ago a hospital was looked upon 
as a box to hold patients in. The first question never was, 
Will the hospital do them no harm ? Enormous strides have 
had to be made to build and arrange hospitals so as to do 
the patients no sanitary or insanitary harm. Now there is 
danger of a hospital being looked upon as a box to train 
nurses in. Enormous strides must be made not to do them 
harm, to give them something that can really be called an 
" all-round " training. 

Can it be possible that a testimonial or certificate of three 
years' so-called training or service from a hospital any 
hospital with a certain number of beds can be accepted as 
sufficient to certify a nurse for a place in a public register ? 
As well might we not take a certificate from any garden of 
a certain number of acres, that plants are certified valuable 
if they have been three years in the garden. 

(6) Another danger that is, stereotyping, not progress- 
ing. " No system can endure that does not march." Are we 
walking to the future or to the past ? Are we progressing 
or are we stereotyping ? We remember that we have 
scarcely crossed the threshold of uncivilized civilization in 
nursing : there is still so much to do. Don't let us stereo- 
type mediocrity. 

To sum up the dangers : 

i. On one side, fashion, and want of earnestness not 
making it a life, but a mere interest consequent on this. 

ii. On the other side, mere money-getting ; yet man does 
not live by bread alone, still less woman. 

iii. Making it a profession, and not a calling. Not making 
your " calling and election sure ; " wanting, especially with 
private nurses, the community of feeling of a common 
nursing home,* pressing towards the "mark of your high 
calling," keeping up the moral tone. 

iv. Above all, danger of making it book-learning and 
lectures not an apprenticeship, a workshop practice. 

v. Thinking that any hospital with a certain number of 
beds may be a box to train nurses in, regardless of the 

* In the United States it is probable that private nurses are of higher edu- 
cation than in England. On the other hand, they have the doubtful dignity of 

Sick-nursing and Health-nursing. 197 

conditions essential to a sound hospital organization, especially 
the responsibility of the female head for the conduct and 
discipline of the nurses. 

vi. Imminent danger of stereotyping instead of progress- 
ing. " No system can endure that does not march." Objects 
of registration not capable of being gained by a public 
register. Who is to guarantee our guarantors ? Who is to 
make the inquiries ? You might as well register mothers as 
nurses. A good nurse must be a good woman. 

V. The health of the unity is the health of the com- 
munity. Unless you have the health of the unity there is 
no community health. 

Competition, or each man for himself, and the devil 
against us all, may be necessary, we are told, but it is the 
enemy of health. Combination is the antidote combined 
interests, recreation, combination to secure the best air, the 
best food, and all that makes life useful, healthy, and happy. 
There is no such thing as independence. As far as we are 
successful, our success lies in combination. 

The Chicago Exhibition is a great combination from all 
parts of the world to prove the dependence of man on man. 

What a lesson in combination the United States have 
taught to the whole world, and are teaching ! 

In all departments of life there is no apprenticeship except 
in the workshop. No theories, no book-learning can ever 
dispense with this or be useful for anything, except as a 
stepping-stone. And rather more, than for anything else, is 
this true for health. Book-learning is useful only to render 
the practical health of the health workshop intelligent, so 
that every stroke of work done there should be felt to be an 
illustration of what has been learnt elsewhere a driving 
home, by an experience not to be forgotten, what has been 
gained by knowledge too easily forgotten. 

Look for the ideal, but put it into the actual. " Not by 
vague exhortations, but by striving to turn beliefs into 
energies that would work in all the details " of health. The 
superstitions of centuries, the bad habits of generations, 
cannot be cured by lecture, book, or examination. 

VI. May our hopes be that, as every year the technical 
qualifications constituting a skilful and observing nurse meet 

198 Woman's Mission. 

with more demands on her from the physicians and surgeons, 
progress may be made year by year, and that, not only in 
technical things, but in the qualifications which constitute a 
good and trustworthy woman, without which she cannot be 
a good nurse. Examination papers, examinations, public 
registration, graduation, form little or no test of these quali- 
fications. The least educated governess, who may not be a 
good nurse at all, may, and probably will, come off best in 
examination papers ; while the best nurse may come off 
worst. May we hope that the nurse may understand more 
and more of the moral and material government of the 
world by the Supreme Moral Governor, higher, better, 
holier than her " own acts," that government which enwraps 
her round, and by which her own acts must be led, with 
which her'own acts must agree in their due proportion, in order 
that this, the highest hope of all, may be hers ; raising her 
above, i.e. putting beneath her, dangers, fashions, mere money- 
getting, solitary money-getting, but availing herself of the 
high helps that may be given her by the sympathy and 
support of good " homes ; " raising her above intrusive per- 
sonal mortifications, pride in her own proficiency (she may 
have a just pride in her own doctors and training-school), 
sham, and clap-trap ; raising her to the highest " grade " of 
all to be a fellow-worker with the Supreme Good, with God ! 
That she may be a " graduate " in this, how high ! that she 
may be a "graduate " in words, not realities, how low ! 

We are only on the threshold of nursing. 

In the future, which I shall not see, for I am old, may a 
better way be opened ! May the methods by which every 
infant, every human being, will have the best chance of 
health the methods by which every sick person will have 
the best chance of recovery, be learned and practised ! 
Hospitals are only an intermediate stage of civilization, 
never intended, at all events, to take in the whole sick 

May we hope that the day will come when every mother 
will become a health-nurse, when every poor sick person will 
have the opportunity of a share in a district sick-nurse at 
home ! But it will not be out of a register ; the nurse will 
not be a stereotyped one. We find a trace of nursing here, 

Sick-nursing and Health-nursing. 199 

another there ; we find nothing like a nation, or race, or 
class who know how to provide the elementary conditions 
demanded for the recovery of their sick, whose mothers know 
how to bring up their infants for health. 

May we hope that, when we are all dead and gone, leaders 
will arise who have been personally experienced in the hard, 
practical work, the difficulties and the joys of organizing 
nursing reforms, and who will lead far beyond anything we 
have done ! May we hope that every nurse will be an atom 
in the hierarchy of the ministers of the Highest ! But then 
she must be in her place in the hierarchy, not alone, not an 
atom in the indistinguishable mass of the thousands of nurses. 
High hopes, which will not be deceived ! 


It is necessary to say a word about district nursing, with its 
dangers like private nursing, and its danger of almsgiving. 

District nurses nurse the sick poor by visiting them in their 
own homes, not giving their whole time to one case, not 
residing in the house. They supply skilled nursing without 
almsgiving, which is incompatible with the duties of a skilled 
nurse, and which too often pauperizes the patient or the 
patient's family. They work under the doctor, who, however, 
rarely comes more than once a day, if so often. The district 
nurse must be clinical clerk, and keep notes for him, and 
dresser as well as nurse. She must, besides, nurse the room 
often in towns the family's only room that is, put it in good 
nursing order, as to ventilation, cleanliness, cheerfulness for 
recovery ; teach the family, the neighbour, or the eldest child 
to keep it so ; report sanitary defects to the proper authority. 
If the patient is the wage-earner, and the case is not essen- 
tially one for the hospital, she often thus prevents the whole 
family from being broken up, and saves them from the work- 
house. If essentially a case for the hospital, she promotes its 
going there. 

Though the district nurse gives nothing herself, she knows, 
or ought to know, all the local agencies by whom indispen- 

2OO Woman's Mission. 

sable wants may be supplied, and who are able to exercise a 
proper discrimination as to the actual needs. 

Having few or no hospital appliances at her disposal, she 
must be ingenious in improvising them. 

She must, in fact, be even more accomplished and respon- 
sible than a nurse in a hospital. 

She may take, perhaps, eight cases a day, but must never 
mix up infectious or midwifery nursing with others. 

She must always have the supervision of a trained 
superior. She should, whenever possible, live in a nursing 
home with other district nurses, under a trained super- 
intendent, not in a lodging by herself, providing for herself, 
and so wasting her powers and deteriorating. This is, of 
course, difficult to manage in the country, and especially in a 
sparsely populated country, e.g. like Scotland. Still approxi- 
mations may be made ; e.g. periodical inspection may take the 
place of continuous supervision. She also should be a health 
missioner as well as a sick-nurse. 


The scheme for health-at-home training and teaching to 
health missioners may be summarized as follows : 

(1) A rural medical officer of health selected by the proper 
local authority for his fitness and experience. 

(2) Lectures to be given by the rural officer of health to 
ladies desirous of becoming health missioners, and others. 
This course, not less than fifteen lectures, to include elementary 
physiology ; that is, an explanation of the organs of the 
body, how each affects the health of the body, and how each 
can be kept in order, a summary, in fact, of the science of 
hygiene, framed to give the scientific basis on which popular 
familiar village teaching is to be founded. 

(3) Further instruction by the lecturer to those who wish 
to. qualify themselves as health missioners, both by oral 
instruction and papers. 

(4) Instruction by the medical officer to those who attend 
the classes, by taking them into the villages to visit the 
cottages, and showing them what to observe and how to visit. 

(5) Selection by the medical officer of a certain number 
of candidates as qualified to be examined for health 

Sick-nursing and Health-nursing. 201 

missioners. These qualifications are good character, good 
health, personal fitness for teaching, and tact in making 
herself acceptable to the village mothers. 

(6) Examination of the candidates by an independent 
examiner appointed by the local authority ; one who is 
familiar with the conditions of rural and village life, who 
then, in conjunction with the medical officer, recommends 
the candidates who have satisfied them both, to the local 
authority, and the latter appoints as many as are required. 

(/) The health missioners are appointed to districts con- 
sisting each of a number of small villages grouped with a 
larger one, or the market town. Over these there is a district 
committee, which is represented on the local authority. Each 
village has a local committee, represented on the district 
committee. The local committee makes arrangements for 
the lectures by the health missioner, and makes the necessary 
arrangements for receiving her. 

(8) The health missioner works under the supervision of 
the medical officer of health, who as often as possible intro- 
duces her to the village in the first instance, and he makes 
it his business to inquire into the practical results of her 

(9) The lectures are delivered in simple, homely language. 
The lecturer aims at making friends with the women, and, 
by afterwards visiting them at their own homes, endeavours 
practically to exemplify in their houses the teaching of the 

(10) After a health missioner has become settled in a 
district she will then be able to receive a probationer, who, 
while attending the medical officer's lectures and classes, will 
find time to accompany the health missioner in her round 
of visiting. 


I. Sanitary condition of the (i) Person; (2) Clothes and Bedding; 

(3) House. 

II. Management of Health of (i) Adults; (2) Women before and after 

Confinements ; (3) Infants and Children. 

I. Sanitary condition of 

(i) Person. Care of the whole body; cleanliness of the skin ; hair 
and hair-brushes ; teeth and tooth-brushes ; simplest appliances sufficient 

2O2 Woman s Mission. 

with knowledge ; large vessels and much water not indispensable for daily 
cleansing (though in some cases a bath and much scrubbing with soap 
are absolutely necessary) ; advantages of friction of the skin ; the body 
the main source of defilement of the air, and the most essential thing to 
keep clean. 

(2) Clothes and Bedding. Clothes to be warm, light, and loose, no 
pressure anywhere ; danger of wearing dirty clothes next the skin ; 
reabsorption of poison cast out by the body ; danger of wearing the 
same underclothing day and night ; importance of airing clothes and 
bedding ; hanging out non-washing clothes in sunshine ; infection stored 
up in old clothes and bedding ; danger of using damp sheets and damp 
underlinen ; bed reform ; feather-beds should be picked, and the tick 
washed every year. 

(3) House. How to choose a healthy dwelling aspect, situation, not 
to be in a hole ; fogs in valleys ; good foundations ; value of sunshine and 
wind ; look after water and air and all that poisons them ; you must 
swallow the air in your house; fresh air will do, even with poor food 
(well cooked), but the best food will not make up for the absence of fresh 
air. What sanitary authorities to appeal to in the country about drains, 
water, sewage, privies, etc. ; plumbing, traps, what shows a trap to be 
unsafe ; best disinfectants cleanliness, clean hands, fresh air. 

Ventilation in bedrooms ; poisonous air in close bedrooms at night ; 
bad smells as danger-signals ; danger of overcrowding sleeping-rooms ; 
danger of dust, dirt, and damp ; how to make the beds ; how to clean the 
floors, walls, bedroom crockery, kitchen pots and pans ; foul floors 
a source of danger ; bricks porous ; interstices between boards may 
become filled with decaying matter ; dangerous to sluice with much 
water, wipe with a damp cloth, and rub with a dry one ; clean wall 
papers, not put up over old dirty ones ; merits of whitewash ; effect of 
direct sunlight ; danger of uninhabited rooms ; the genteel parlour, chilling 
to the bone, kept for company ; danger of dirty milk pans and jugs, 
kitchen tables, chopping-blocks, etc. ; water hard and soft see that it is 
water, not water plus sewage ; that milk is milk not milk plus water 
plus sewage. 

II. Management of Health of 

(1) Adults. Diet ; influence of sex, age, climate, occupation, variety ; 
animal food, vegetable food ; milk, butter, cheese, eggs, etc. ; effects of 
insufficient food, of unwholesome food, food insufficiently cooked ; danger 
of diseased meat, of decaying fish, meat, fruit, and of unripe fruit and 
vegetables ; spread of disease through milk ; chills, constipation, diarrhoea, 
indigestion, ruptures, rheumatism, gathered fingers, etc. 

(2) Women before and after Confinements. Diet, fresh air, cheerful- 
ness ; danger of blood-poisoning by lying-in on dirty feather-beds. 

(3) Infants and Children. Nursing, weaning, hand- feeding; regular 
intervals between feeding ; flatulence, thrush, convulsions, bronchitis, 
croup ; simple hints to mothers about healthy conditions for children : 
cleanliness ; food ; what to give to prevent constipation or diarrhoea ; 
danger of giving children alcohol or narcotics ; danger of a heavy head- 
covering to a child while bones of skull still open ; deadliness of soothing 
syrups ; how to recognize the symptoms of coming illness in body and 

Sick-nursing and Health-nursing. 203 

mind fever, hip disease, curvature of the spine, indigestion, sleepless- 
ness, drowsiness, headache, peevishness, etc. What to do till the Doctor 
comes If clothes catch fire, or for burns, scalds, bites, cuts, stings, 
injuries to the head ; swallowing fruit-stones, pennies, pins, etc. After the 
Doctor has left How to take care of convalescents ; how to feed ; danger 
of chills ; overwork at school, etc. 

Given by the Health Missioners to Village Mothers. 


1. The Bedroom. 

2. The Kitchen and Parlour. 

3. The Back Yard and Garden. 


4. The Skin, and how to keep the body clean Washing. 

5. The Circulation, and how to keep the body warm 


6. The Digestion, and how to nourish the body Food. 


7. What to do till the Doctor comes, and after the Doctor 

has left. 

8. Management of Infants and Children. 


(a) Introductory Busy life of cottage mothers ; why they should 
come to classes ; preventable illnesses ; the mothers should ask questions, 
and help the lecturers by relating their own experiences ; proposed plan of 
the lecturers. 

() Bedroom, What we want to get into a bedroom ; what we want 
to get out of a bedroom ; sunshine its effect on health ; fresh air 
difference between clean air and foul air ; an unaired bedroom is a box of 
bad air ; ventilation near the ceiling ; fireplace no chimney-boards. 

(c) Furniture of bedroom : the bed and bedding ; walls ; carpet ; 
airing of room during the day ; cleansing of bedroom crockery ; danger 
of unemptied slops ; how to get rid of dust washing of floors ; vermin ; 
damp ; lumber ; fresh air and sunshine in the bedroom by day promote 
sleep by night. 

Kitchen. Danger from refuse of food ; grease in all the rough parts 
of kitchen table and chopping-block crumbs and scraps in interstices of 
floor remains of sour milk in saucepans, jugs ; all refuse poisons the air, 
spoils fresh food, and attracts vermin, rats, beetles, etc. ; bricks porous ; 
dangerous to sluice with too much water ; water for cooking, whence 
obtained often water plus sewage ; milk easily injured often milk plus 

204 Woman s Mission. 

water plus sewage ; how to clean kitchen table, crockery, pots and pans ; 
how to keep milk cool ; danger of dirty sink. 

Parlour. Danger of uninhabited rooms without sunlight and fresh 
air ; genteel parlour chilling to the bone ; clean papers not to be put over 
dirty ones ; tea-leaves for sweeping carpets. 


Back Yard. Where are slops emptied ? slops to be poured slowly 
down a drain, not hastily thrown down to make a pool round the drain ; 
gratings of drain to be kept clean, and passage free ; soil round the house 
kept pure, that pure air may come in at the window ; danger of throwing 
bedroom slops out of window ; no puddles allowed to stand round walls ; 
privy refuse to be got into the soil as soon as possible ; danger of 
cesspools ; well and pump ; wells are upright drains, so soil round them 
should be pure ; bad smells danger-signals ; pigsties, moss-litter to absorb 
liquid manure, cheap and profitable ; danger from pools of liquid manure 
making the whole soil foul. 


The Skin. Simple account of functions of skin : as a covering to the 
body ; beauty dependent on healthy state of skin ; use of the skin as 
throwing out waste matter ; dangers of a choked skin ; how and when to 
wash ; care of whole body ; teeth sad suffering by their neglect ; hair 
and hair-brushes ; large vessels and much water not indispensable for 
daily cleansing ; advantages of a bath ; friction of the skin ; not babies 
only, but men and women, require daily washing ; the body the source of 
defilement of the air. 


Clothes. Simple account of how the heart and lungs act ; clothes to 
be warm and loose, no pressure ; test for tight-lacing, if measurement 
round the waist is more with the clothes off than when stays are worn ; 
danger of dirty clothes next the skin reabsorption of poison ; danger of 
wearing the same clothes day and night ; best materials for clothing ; 
why flannel is so valuable ; danger of sitting in wet clothes and boots ; 
too little air causes more chills than too much ; the body not easily 
chilled when warm and well clothed. 


Food. Simple account of how food is digested and turned into blood 
Worse food (well cooked) and fresh air better than best food without fresh 
air ; diet, not medicine, ensures health ; uses of animal and of vegetable 
food ; danger of all ill-cooked and half-cooked food ; nourishing value of 
vegetables and whole-meal bread ; danger of too little food and too much 
at the wrong times ; dangers of uncooked meat, especially pork, diseased 
meat, decaying fish, unripe and overripe fruit, and stewed tea; vital 
importance of cooked fruit for children, stewed apples and pears, damsons, 

Sick-nursing and Health-nursing. 205 

blackberries ; value of milk as food ; influence of diet upon constipation, 
diarrhoea, indigestion, convulsions in children ; small changes of diet 
promote appetite and health. 



Small Treatment. Grave danger of being one's own doctor, of taking 
quack medicines, or a medicine which has cured some one else in quite 
a different case ; liquid food only to be given till the doctor comes ; 
danger-signals of illness, and how to recognize them ; hourly dangers 
of ruptures if not completely supported by trusses ; what to do if clothes 
catch fire ; and for burns, scalds, bites, cuts, stings, injuries to the head 
and to the eye, swallowing fruit-stones, pins, etc. ; simple rules to avoid 
infection. After the doctor has left How to take care of convalescents ; 
how to feed ; when to keep rooms dark, and when to admit plenty of 
light ; danger of chills. 


Infants and Children. Nursing, weaning, hand-feeding, regular 
intervals between feeding; flatulence, thrush, convulsions, bronchitis, 
croup ; simple hints to mothers about healthy conditions for children : 
Baths ; diet ; how to prevent constipation and diarrhoea ; what to do in 
sudden attacks of convulsions and croup ; deadly danger of giving 
soothing syrups or alcohol ; headache often caused by bad eyesight ; 
symptoms of overwork at school headache, worry, talking in the sleep ; 
danger to babies and to little children of any violence, jerks, and sudden 
movements, loud voices, slaps, box on the ear ; good effects upon the 
health of gentleness, firmness, and cheerfulness ; no child can be well 
who is not bright and merry, and brought up in fresh air and sunshine, 
surrounded by love the sunshine of the soul. 

2o6 Woman s Mission. 



THE instinct existing from all time in civilized humanity to 
help the helpless and relieve suffering has only led to the 
development of a scientific system of trained nursing in Eng- 
land in the last half-century. 

The pioneer in this movement was Miss Florence Nightin- 
gale, who, belonging to a wealthy and distinguished family, 
had so trained herself that she was ready, when the need 
came, to obey the invitation of the Secretary at War, and to 
take charge of the military hospitals in the Crimea. The 
state of things in nursing matters which existed before this 
modern crusade was begun, is sketched for us in Charles 
Dickens's masterly and too truthful pictures of Mrs. Gamp 
and her companions, and we may infer from these how great 
was the need of reform in the class of nurses, and in the spirit 
and practice of their work. But it was not till twenty years 
ago that James Hinton, the well-known aurist and writer, 
suggested that ladies should take up nursing as a profession. 
He set before them a noble ideal of what the work might 
become, urging them "to create a new art of nursing," and 
laying down a scheme of training which, to be perfect (for 
the few), " might absorb resources as large and take as long 
a time as the completest medical education." He believed 
that " with the observing and recording power at hand, in 
the form of a body of skilled ladies, new subjects and methods 
of observation could hardly fail to develop themselves," while 
the " mutual co-operation of the two sexes would build up 

Philanthropic Aspects of Nursing. 207 

conjointly the one as physician, the other as nurse, but with 
no unequal share a worthy science of the healing art." 

Since these words were spoken, the profession has 
been largely recruited by ladies ; so much so, indeed, 
that some nursing institutions demand lady workers only, 
while the hospitals which have become training-schools for 
nurses have in many cases special arrangements for lady 
pupils. This training is taken up by women of almost every 
class as a means of livelihood ; it is also adopted by many 
who desire only to prepare themselves for philanthropic 

It would not, however, give a correct idea of the possi- 
bilities of philanthropic activity in the field of nursing, if we 
omitted to mention the considerable body of ladies, who, with- 
out being trained as nurses themselves, play an indispensable 
part in the furtherance of nursing work by others. 

Work of all kinds, to achieve the best success, must be 
pursued and loved for its own sake, and not merely as a 
means of gain ; but nursing from its very nature must be 
governed by philanthropy, or it will fail of its purpose. The 
sick-nurse is called upon for intellectual interest in her work. 
She should be capable of accurate and comprehensive obser- 
vation, of noting differences and changes of symptom in ill- 
ness, of reporting clearly the results of her watchfulness. She 
should feel that in fighting disease she is an ally of the vitality 
of her patient, and be able to seize every spark of life, to 
combat weakness and decay. But, important as this attitude 
is, it is insufficient ; qualities yet more difficult to call out 
are necessary to perfect nursing. A nurse must give not only 
self-denial and single-hearted devotion to her duty ; she must 
dedicate to it the whole energy of her character. The patient 
is not merely a " case " of disease ; he is a suffering member 
of the great human family. It is necessary that his nurse 
should care for his pain, and rejoice in his steps towards 
health ; he can only be restored to his place in the community 
by the revivifying effect of sympathy, and his welfare as an 
individual is the motive power of her labour. It is the special 
pride of nursing that its very exercise is nullified unless this 
finer motive power is called out. 

It is not surprising that a very large amount of nursing is 

208 Woman's Mission. 

undertaken wholly with a benevolent object. But it must not 
be forgotten that many nurses, the spirit of whose work is 
essentially philanthropic, are prevented by the accident of 
their personal circumstances from working without payment. 
The present standard of efficiency in the profession enforces 
from three to five years' training, or if it be completed in a less 
time, which is possible, it must be paid for at a heavy cost, 
and during the eighteen months or two years, which is the 
least time in which it can be obtained, no salary can be earned. 
And when the training is completed, the nurse's life is a very 
arduous and responsible one, requiring good health and 
strong nerves, and the number of years during which a nurse 
is considered at her best, and is capable of obtaining first- 
rate employment, is sadly limited. Notwithstanding this, 
there is, besides the vast number of women who take up 
nursing as a profession, a steadily increasing body of ladies, 
who devote their lives to nursing the poor in all parts of 
England unpaid, without reckoning those who belong to 
various religious communities. Two or three years ago it 
was suggested by the Hon. Mrs. John Dundas, in a letter 
to the Times, that daughters of clergymen, country squires, 
and others living at home, would find their sphere of use- 
fulness much enlarged by spending a few years in be- 
coming thoroughly trained as nurses, and then devoting that 
efficiency to nursing the sick poor in their neighbourhood. 
The body of voluntary lady workers would thus be greatly 

The large hospitals in our towns, and in the provinces, are, 
primarily, beneficent examples of philanthropic nursing. The 
poor patients who receive the services of the most eminent 
medical men and the most experienced nurses in these insti- 
tutions, are recipients of charity given in the past or present. 
But large and important as they are, they can only touch the 
special and most severe forms of suffering. They cannot deal 
with the majority of sick people among the poor. Of late 
years, therefore, in England, localities have set on foot humble 
imitations of these big hospitals, where a few beds can accom- 
modate patients who require special medical treatment and 
care. And as far as we can judge, these cottage hospitals, 
supported by local funds and subscriptions, form a valuable 

Philanthropic Aspects of Nursing. 209 

link between the great hospitals and what is now largely 
known as district nursing. 

This form of philanthropic nursing was originated some 
thirty years ago by Mr. William Rathbone, of Liverpool, whose 
experience of serious illness in his own household led him to 
consider the suffering that must exist in the homes of the 
sick poor, destitute of those alleviations that wealth can 
supply. Out of this arose the idea of training nurses to visit 
the sick poor in their own homes, and this system of helping 
patients who from various reasons cannot be removed to 
hospitals, has extended to London and to many towns of 
Great Britain. 

The beneficent action of Queen Victoria in devoting the 
surplus of the fund subscribed by the women of England to 
commemorate her Jubilee, to this object, has enabled many 
of the various schemes of district nursing, both in towns and 
rural places, to be welded together into an organized whole. 
Queen Victoria's Jubilee Institute has done incalculable good 
in fixing a high standard of efficiency for nurses of the sick 
poor, in widely extending the work, and, above all, in establish- 
ing the whole system of district nursing on a charitable basis. 

What the Queen's Institute is doing in towns, its rural 
branch (founded before its amalgamation with the Institute 
as the " Rural Nursing Association ") is doing in the country, 
where district nursing is rapidly spreading. For this work 
the nurses are further trained by the rural branch in mid- 
wifery as well as in general nursing, to supply a very serious 
need in isolated villages and districts far from medical aid ; 
and skilled attendance is now being gradually, but surely, 
extended to poor mothers who have been hitherto left to the 
evils of ignorant and untrained help. 

This brings us to the consideration of those philanthropic 
workers before mentioned, without whom schemes of district 
nursing would be an impossibility. There are, happily, many 
ladies who have been roused to activity by a knowledge of 
the sufferings in sickness of their poor neighbours. To these 
a large field of activity has been opened. During the last ten 
years the whole subject of nursing the poor has greatly won 
upon public attention ; so much so, indeed, that nursing has 
been taken up by all sorts and conditions of women as a 


2io Woman 's Mission. 

fashion, apart from their having any special aptitude or taste 
for the work. Such workers, having no foundation for their 
brief enthusiasm, must drop out of the ranks sooner or later ; 
but a lasting good result remains from the prominence given 
to the subject having opened the eyes of many persons to a 
very urgent need. Some of the needs of the poor have been 
recognized and provided for. They have clergymen to live 
among them, and the State provides them with free elemen- 
tary education, and ensures that they can obtain the attend- 
ance of the parish doctor when necessary. 

The need for trained nursing in sickness, however, for 
those who cannot avail themselves of the advantages offered 
by hospitals, is not supplied except through the private 
benevolence and energy of individual workers. No scheme 
of district nursing has yet been carried through, without the 
activity and devotion of some benevolent person or persons, 
and this field of philanthropy is open to all, even to those 
who, from their circumstances, are not able to give help in 
money. Interest has to be awakened in others, co-operation 
to be obtained, prejudices to be overcome, money to the 
extent of 70 to 80 per annum collected in a given district, 
opposition from many, and often unexpected quarters must 
be met, and last, but not least, an efficient nurse must be 
engaged. During the past few years the Rural District 
Branch, which has made the whole subject of nursing in 
country districts its especial study, has been ready with 
assistance of all sorts for these isolated workers, and can be 
appealed to for nurses trained for country work, for advice, 
and in some cases for monetary help. 

No one who has not carried through a scheme of this 
kind, especially in the country, where new ideas are slow to 
take root, can know of the disappointments, discouragements, 
and troubles to be undergone in many cases before success is 
reached. The project is not one that grows by itself; the 
poor do not themselves agitate for reform, and have to be 
educated to better things. They are often the least alive to 
their own needs, and their dogged submission, to what they 
consider inevitable ills, is sometimes not the least of the 
obstacles to be overcome. The amount of ignorance that 
prevails among them with regard to their own bodies and 

Philanthropic Aspects of Nursing. 2 1 1 

all laws of hygiene and sanitation, can, perhaps, hardly be 
realized by the educated, unless they are in the habit of 
visiting them constantly, and really know them intimately. 
There is no lack of kindness and good-nature among them, 
but one has frequently to deplore the willingness of the 
neighbours to attend the sick, and to prescribe from their 
own limited experience, in cases where trained skill and 
sound knowledge are urgently required. More especially 
does this apply to confinements, where a neighbour with no 
knowledge or training will too frequently attend, with the 
audacity of ignorance, both natural and abnormal cases, and 
often sad, if not fatal, results to both mothers and infants 
ensue from this practice. Terrible is the suffering, and the 
lifelong injury, too often caused by these women ! 

As to ventilation, the villagers have no idea of it, and 
alternate between the close and stuffy bedroom, with a window 
never opened, and the chimney, if existing, carefully closed 
or boarded up, and the thorough draught of the passage 
between the back and front doors, which is the usual lounge 
of any invalid and the children. We can wonder little, then, 
at the mortality in villages after a mild epidemic of measles, 
when the children die in numbers from bronchitis and other 
chest affections. Besides this cause of mortality among 
children is another, viz. the spread of infectious disorders 
owing to the utter disregard of all precautions. The people 
appear to be fatalists on this subject, and regard the most 
ordinary prudence as flying in the face of Providence their 
argument being, " If you are to have it, you will have it," and 
they go about the surest way to take, and spread, whatever 
the infection may be. 

Sanitation is not even thought of. An open stagnant 
ditch, or drain, is considered quite a suitable playground for 
the children, and to throw all refuse just outside the door is 
still a common practice. 

The nasty compounds which are applied as poultices are 
some of them too bad to describe to ears polite, and must 
have a very pernicious effect, while even those of which the 
ingredients are suitable, are prepared and applied in a very 
different manner from what the doctor intended, or a nurse 
would make. 

212 Woman 's Mission. 

How the village babies survive the very unwholesome 
food on which they are brought up, must ever remain a 
mystery to the mothers who carefully adapt their little ones' 
diet to their age and powers of digestion. Biscuit soaked in 
water is the most common of all, but cabbage and brown 
sugar, and fat bacon to suck, are given at the age of a few 
weeks only ; and at three or four months old, a little of any- 
thing the elders are having is thought in many families good 
for the baby ; wholesome food and regularity of meals are 
really not considered at all. ' 

The doctor's visit, when he is not sent for too late for any 
human aid to avail, is often of little use, from the misunder- 
standing of his directions, or inability to carry them out. 
There are still in many remote country villages old women 
skilled in the use of herbs. One such who has cer- 
tainly performed some remarkable cures, and who enjoys 
the implicit confidence of her neighbours, avers that her father 
could " cure all men and beasts," and that she inherits her 
skill and her books from him. This aged crone believes in 
the need of picking and collecting her herbs at particular times 
of the moon's phases, and considers each plant to be under the 
dominion of one of the planets. Truly a relic of heathen 
superstition ! To quote a few of her prescriptions and de- 
scriptions copied from labels she attached to the collection of 
herbs, which she exhibited at a cottage garden flower show 
about three years ago, will exemplify the state of credulity 
and ignorance of the herbalist and her patients, better per- 
haps than anything else : 

" Hemlock. Saturn claims dominion over this herb. 
Uses. Hemlock is very cold and very dangerous, especially 
to be taken inwardly ; it may safely be applied to inflam- 
mations, tumours, and swellings in any part of the body, as 
also to St. Anthony's fire (= erysipelas), a local name, and 
creeping ulcers, that arise of hot sharp humours by cooking 
and repelling the heat. 

"Balm. It is an herb of Jupiter and under Cancer. Uses. 
The leaves with a little nitre are good against the surfeit of 
mushrooms. It is also good for them that cannot fetch their 

" Borage. It is an herb of Jupiter and under Leo. Uses. 

Philanthropic Aspects of Nursing. 2 1 3 

The leaves, flowers, and seeds are all of them good to expel 
pensiveness and melancholy. It helpeth to clarify the blood 
and mitigate heat in fevers. 

" Elecampane, It is a plant under the dominion of 
Mercury. The roots chewed in the mouth fasteneth loose 
teeth and keepeth them from putrefaction. But wild tansy 
is even more remarkable. It is said to be under Venus, and 
the powder of the herb, boiled in vinegar with honey and 
alum, easeth the toothache, fasteneth loose teeth, helpeth the 
gums that are sore, and setteth the palate of the mouth when 
it is fallen down. 

" Wild Marjoram, This is also under the dominion of 
Mercury; the juice thereof being dropped into the ears helps 
deafness, pains, and noise in the ears. Pimpernel is a gallant 
and solar herb ; it helpeth the toothache, being dropped into 
the ears the contrary side of the pain. 

" Briony or Wild Vine. The root cleanseth the skin 
wonderfully from all black and blue spots, freckles, morphew, 
leprosy, foul scars, or other deformity whatsoever. 

" Spearmint is an herb of Venus, and is a safe medicine 
for the biting of a mad dog, being bruised with salt and laid 
thereon, and Wood Betony is commended against the stinging 
or biting of venomous serpents or mad dogs, being used 
inwardly, and applied outwardly to the place. 

"Balsam is under the dominion of Jupiter, and taken 
fasting in the morning is very good for pains in the head 
that are continual. It is also said to be an especial friend 
and help to evil, weak, and cold livers ; and, lastly, Garden 
Riie is an herb of the sun, and under Leo. The juice of it, 
mixed with fennel with a little honey, helpeth the dimness 
of the eyesight." 

Many similar remedies could be named from the old 
woman's collection, but these are sufficient for our purpose, 
to show that the establishment of trained and skilled nurses 
is greatly needed in country districts far away from the 
influences of modern knowledge and science. 

It would be well if landowners, and other benevolent 
persons who wish to take up this branch of philanthropy, 
and employ their energies in obtaining trained nursing for 
the poor, would recognize from the outset what all such 

2 1 4 Woman s Mission. 

workers must see sooner or later that the scheme must be 
a charity. Many start with the conviction that it must be, if 
not a paying one, at least self-supporting, and though others 
have failed to make it so, they will succeed. Our hospitals 
exemplify the principle that the poor are utterly unable to 
pay for skilled attention in serious illness, and this holds 
good in district nursing both in towns and villages, more 
especially in the latter, where the ignorance of the simplest 
treatment of sickness, combined with the total absence of 
even the ordinary comforts and appliances, make even a slight 
ailment a burden that cannot be adequately borne without 

Again, some workers wish to make their philanthropy as 
cheap as they can by establishing, to work amongst the poor, 
ignorant and common women made doubly dangerous by 
a small amount of cheap and insufficient training. Such 
women naturally cost less than a trained nurse, but it is 
hardly necessary to point out that if by our philanthropy 
we wish to raise and improve the condition of the poor, to 
teach them by example to live healthy and more refined and 
orderly lives if we want to save life and lifelong delicacy 
and infirmity, no nurse is too good, too refined, and too high- 
minded for the work. 

Trained nurses cannot at once dispel the mists of ignorance, 
or the ingrained bad habits and the prejudice of long custom, 
but they may do much to lessen them, and mitigate the evils 
which follow in their train. The comfort from a trained 
nurse's visit is so great that it encourages people to follow 
her advice. The village district nurse must be a kind, gentle- 
mannered woman, endowed with great tact and patience to 
deal with her patients, and their friends, and, if she possesses 
these gifts, and is following the profession, not only as a 
means of livelihood, but with sincere love for her heavenly 
Master, and a desire to tread closely in His footsteps, she 
will win the confidence and affection of all with whom she 
comes in contact 

Munificent gifts have been made to hospitals ; cottage 
hospitals and infirmaries have been built and supported by 
voluntary contributions, but none of these supply the same 
need as trained sick nurses and certificated mid wives, living 

Philanthropic Aspects of Nursing. 215 

among the country people, ready and willing and capable of 
attending them in all emergencies. The fees can never be 
sufficient for their support ; there must always be a nurse fund 
provided by those who have the means, and the will, to help 
the poor and the suffering ones around them ; and those who 
contribute to this fund may feel that they are obeying the 
injunction of our Lord, who said, "The poor ye have always 
with you, and whenever ye will ye can do them good," and 
are following, in the way most suited to the present age and 
the present needs, His example, Who went about doing good, 
and healing the sick. 

216 Woman's Mission. 


To give a full statement of the entire range of this subject 
would far exceed the possibilities of such a paper as the 
present one ; but an attempt is here made to give a short 
survey of the rise and actual condition of Nursing as a pro- 
fession as it exists in England. 

It seems needless here to recapitulate what the world 
owes to the great pioneer of nursing, Miss Nightingale, 
who, long before the Crimean War gave her a European 
reputation, left the joys of home and the pleasures of the best 
society, which she was in a position to command and adorn, 
to undertake the care of a Home for Diseased Gentlewomen. 
It was her great spiritual and moral force that convinced the 
public that to leave helpless human beings in the hour of 
suffering to ignorant, untrained supervision was a disgrace to 
the intelligence of the nineteenth century. Simultaneously, 
the inimitable works of Dickens presented the reverse of the 
picture ; and, not without controversy and some misgiving in 
head-quarters, Mr. Sidney Herbert succeeded in despatching, 
for the first time in the world's history, a woman to take a 
definite place in the operations of an army in the field. How 
she sped is now a matter of universal knowledge, and nobly 
have her pupils and sisters in the military services followed 
her footsteps. On the return of Miss Nightingale after the 
war, the gratitude of the English nation took expression in 
a large contribution placed at her disposal. This was devoted 
by her to the foundation of the Nightingale Training Insti- 
tution for Nurses, in St. Thomas's Hospital, which, by intro- 
ducing the best kind of nursing into hospitals, established a 
right standard of practice, and led to the foundation of schools 

On Nursing. 217 

of nursing in connection with almost all the large hospitals 
throughout the kingdom. 

The military and naval services have been the great 
nurseries and pioneers of good nursing, and in a return kindly 
supplied to me by the War Office I find a list of no less 
than thirty-four nurses, all decorated for good service, who 
have been employed in the recent wars in India, Egypt, 
Burmah, and elsewhere. Their distinction can only be equalled 
by their modesty, and I have not found it easy to obtain any 
details of the work done. But something is known of what 
Miss Florence Lees, now Mrs. Dacre Craven, underwent in 1870 
in the Franco- German War, when the Empress Frederick and 
Princess Alice sent her to the front, and she spent eight weeks 
in the hospital for typhus cases before Metz. There, in the 
midst of the raging infection, she nursed a building containing 
eighty beds, which on her arrival was destitute of every special 
accommodation for patients. She found only the wards, the 
beds, and the same rough food supplied as would be served 
out to the same men in the field if in health. There were 
absolutely no cups or vessels for use of any description, but 
one pail. She had two other nurses with her, and they subse- 
quently had to be repeatedly relieved ; but this heroic woman 
went on with her life in her hand for the whole eight weeks, 
more than once in additional danger from the poor fellows 
when in violent delirium, who could only be restrained by the 
assistance of convalescent inmates, trained by her into 
hospital orderlies. 

Before Miss Nightingale's school had quite developed, an 
important move forward was made by religious sisterhoods ; 
and for a considerable time the best nursing work then to be 
had emanated from the St. John's House, Norfolk Street, 
Strand, followed closely by the All Saints' Sisterhood in Mar- 
garet Street, by the East Grinstead Sisters, and the Sisters of 
St. Peter. I might append here a long list of sisterhoods, most 
of which include some nursing of the poor among the different 
objects of their work. Their devoted spirit has been invalu- 
able in teaching the world how noble a thing good nursing 
is. Though all did not attain to the highest standard of 
professional training, the All Saints' and St. John's Sisterhoods 
are still among the heads of the profession and in the first 

218 Woman s Mission. 

rank of those who give their services to the poor. These last- 
named bodies provided nurses for hospitals (King's College 
and Charing Cross), and also supplied nurses to private cases 
that could pay for them. But the first attempt to supply 
nurses to the poor was in Liverpool in 1859, where a be- 
ginning was made with one single nurse, whose energy and 
success rapidly led to the establishment of a nursing home, 
and a place for training nurses to visit the sick poor in their 
own homes, in Liverpool. 

During the great cholera epidemic of 1866 in London 
much admirable work was done by the sisters, and the 
highest testimony to their efficiency and devotion was given 
by Bishop (afterwards Archbishop) Tait, a.nd by Mrs. Glad- 
stone, who daily visited the London Hospital during the 
worst days of that awful scourge. 

It was that same visitation which led to the formation of 
the East London Nursing Society, the first of the London 
societies organized for the sole benefit of the poor. That 
society places a trained nurse in each parish, obtains her 
lodging from the local funds, and supplies fully trained 
nursing superintendence from matrons living in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood. There are twenty-nine nurses now 
established, one residing in each parish, under four matrons ; 
and they have an efficient plan for the supply of necessary 
diet and comforts for the patients. The value of these 
services in the deep poverty of the East End is incalculable. 

Development followed quickly in the form of a really 
grand scheme for training and giving the highest form of 
nursing to the poor, initiated by the Duke of Westminster, 
who in 1870 founded the Metropolitan and National Nursing 
Association, with a central training-home in Bloomsbury 
Square. It is composed almost entirely of ladies, who are 
trained by Mrs. Dacre Craven ; whose exploits have already 
been referred to. This institution is now divided into a 
great number of branches, and the central training-home in 
Bloomsbury continues to stand out as the highest for com- 
pleteness and efficiency. But among the efforts to comfort 
poor people few exceed in value the Association for Providing 
Trained Nurses to Workhouses, which followed closely after 
the kindred institutions for the poor in their own homes. 

On Nursing. 219 

The establishment of schools for trained nurses in almost 
every large hospital is now an accomplished fact. The 
nurses to private cases who receive full payment greatly 
benefit the institutions to which they belong ; among the 
earliest was the Westminster training-school founded by 
the late Lady Augusta Stanley. Our space makes a mention 
of all impossible, but they are usually all on the same system, 
viz. to train nurses for private cases, reserving a few for 
the poor. 

The movement recently instituted by H.R.H. the Princess 
Christian, to consolidate the general nursing profession by 
giving a certificate under Royal Charter to all who have 
received three years' full training, is expected to assist the 
value of their work by consolidating their social status. But 
her Majesty Queen Victoria stands pre-eminent among the 
supporters of this great duty of providing nurses for the sick 
poor, and by her action has made this movement a national 
one. By her appointment the Duke of Westminster, Sir 
Rutherford Alcock, and Sir James Paget were made trustees ; 
and, from information obtained by them, it appears that 
beside the work done in London and Liverpool, there are 
district nursing organizations in Derby, Bristol, Brighton, 
Manchester, Worcester, Leeds, Oxford, Newcastle, Maidstone, 
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, and many other towns. 
These nursing organizations are exclusive of the institutions 
for providing nurses to the rich, and are far more effectual 
for the poor than those on the mixed system ; though it 
cannot be denied that the latter are very beneficial. In 
January, 1888, the trustees recommended that the bulk of 
the Jubilee Fund, amounting to ^70,000, should be applied 
for the training of nurses for the poor. Her Majesty finally 
approved a scheme for uniting this fund with the ancient 
charity of St. Katherine's Hospital, founded in 1 148 by 
Queen Matilda, wife of King Stephen, chartered in 1273 by 
Queen Eleanor, widow of Henry III., and again in 1351 
by Queen Philippa, queen of Edward III., when the duty of 
visitation of the sick poor was expressly imposed. As soon 
as the necessary arrangements for the adjustment of its 
revenues are completed, this ancient foundation will have 
increased funds at its disposal. 

22O Woman s Mission. 

The committee made it its first duty to develop training- 
schools in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin ; and in Edinburgh 
the energy of the late Lady Rosebery rapidly formed a centre, 
extending to Glasgow, Aberdeen, and other important places. 
In Dublin a commencement has been made ; and throughout 
England associations have come forward to accept the con- 
ditions of affiliation. A noble gift from Mr. Tate has greatly 
assisted the work, of which the reports, rules, and all details 
may be seen in the Nursing Section. But although the 
positions occupied by the above foundations are the first in 
importance, both by intrinsic merit and official sanction, full 
justice cannot be done to the interest felt in the subject of 
nursing, especially on behalf of the poor in Great Britain, 
without mentioning some very leading institutions which 
have made this work an integral portion of their plan. 
Among these, the institution founded by the late Mrs. 
Ranyard to send " Bible women " to the poor is doing good 
nursing work, and has nearly one hundred nurses employed 
in various poor parishes in London. The nursing branch is 
under the direction of Mrs. Selfe-Leonard, and the institution 
gives its nurses three months' hospital training. These nurses 
are selected with extreme care, and, though they could not 
be certificated as fully trained nurses, have done very 
valuable work. 

The institution known as the Mildmay Deaconesses also 
has a branch for nurses, and employs them in the homes of 
the poor. The Sisters of St. John the Divine, formerly a 
part of the Norfolk Street Institution, have now established 
themselves in Poplar, and give efficient help to the poor. 

It is difficult to decide whether maternity work should be 
classed as nursing, and therefore included among the under- 
takings described in this paper or classed among the strictly 
medical charities. If it is regarded as women's work for 
women, we may mark its progress with approbation. A very 
decided effort is now being made to provide well-trained 
midwives for the poor ; and though inadequate to the wants 
of the ever-growing population of London, there is a nucleus 
of excellent work in the East End Mothers' Home, which 
trains midwives ; and a very remarkable effort to promote 
good work of this kind should be noticed in the Maternity 

On Nursing. 221 

Hospital at Clapham, in which there is a school for midwives, 
and the whole machinery of the medical and nursing staff 
is entirely composed of women. 

The institutions here indicated mostly concern London 
only, or have their centres there ; but there is a very active 
general movement to supply nurses throughout the country 
districts in England, which is taking form in various ways. 

The Cottage Nursing Association, of which the centre is 
in Gloucestershire, is fully described in this Section by a very 
able paper from the pen of Lady Victoria Lambton and Mrs. 
Malleson ; it gives the best nursing by fully trained nurses 
and midwives, and deserves the highest praise. The same or 
a kindred plan, also supplying highly trained nurses, is estab- 
lished at West Mailing, in Kent. All the institutions named 
previously as having centres in towns, of course also supply 
fully trained nurses. A very large number of single nurses, 
with different degrees of training, is employed by ladies ; one 
or perhaps two nurses being placed in a parish, though in 
some cases they come from the organization provided for 
cottage hospitals. But in the remote country districts those 
who wish thus to assist poor people find themselves much 
hindered by the unwillingness of the peasant poor to admit 
very highly trained nurses into their houses. Their remote- 
ness makes daily visits of a single hour or more (without 
residence) unattainable ; and they will not accept the services 
of any nursing attendant who does not undertake to assist, or 
even to fulfil, all the necessary household duties, and supply 
whatever is wanted for the general comfort of the family as 
well as care of the patient. Now it does seem an injustice to 
compel fully-trained nurses, who have sacrificed much time 
and money to the attainment of the delicacy of touch needed 
for the highest surgical work, to undergo the risk of spoiling 
their hands by housework. And it is very unusual that the 
severest surgical cases are ever attended at home. These 
(mostly accidents) are usually removed at once to the great 
hospitals in the nearest towns. I am far from intending to 
imply that fully-trained nurses are not always the most 
valuable ; but the difficulty above indicated is a very real 
one, and can only be met by supplying a nurse of less 
ambitious quality. Another difficulty arises from the fact 

222 Woman s Mission. 

that a fully-trained nurse placed alone in a remote country 
parish often finds that there is not work enough to employ 
her time. These impediments have been best overcome by 
the Ockley system, suggested by Miss Broadwood, a lady 
residing near Horsham, in Surrey. The plan here is to 
employ well-selected women from the district, and give them 
three or four months' training at the hospital at Plaistow. 
They are distributed as asked for by the different parishes 
belonging to groups arranged in various neighbourhoods. 
By a very excellent adoption of the " benefit " principle, 
funds for these nurses are provided by a settled contribution 
from each parish calculated in proportion to the amount of 
its population. It is found that a subscription at the rate 
of twenty-five or twenty-seven shillings for every hundred 
persons annually will, if there is a large group of parishes, 
supply the wages of the nurses. The patients pay a weekly 
fee on a graduated scale according to their social position, viz. 
two shillings weekly for the poor of the neighbourhood ; five 
shillings for artisans and small farmers ; seven and sixpence 
for substantial tradesmen ; and one pound for the gentry and 
wealthy inhabitants. An annual subscription is expected, of 
the same amount as their weekly fee. Evidently the plan 
suited the wishes of the poor ; for it was rapidly adopted in 
twenty parishes round Horsham, and, with various modifica- 
tions, is being established in many other places, such as 
Battle, Rye, the neighbourhood of Grantham, etc. These 
nurses, though not fully trained, have learned the primitive 
principles of sanitation and the necessary obedience to 
doctors ; the medical men who have tried them (some very 
eminent ones) value them highly, and there can be no doubt 
that the future establishment of a complete network of fully- 
trained nursing is likely to be greatly forwarded by the 
growth of this humble but very useful beginning. As there 
has been some controversy on the point, it is right to add 
here that no want of devotion or sacrifice has been perceived 
on the part of the highly trained nurses who in many 
village-epidemics have occasionally been called in and done 
really heroic service. What is here stated is the result of 
experience ; and those who have followed the work of these 
simpler nurses are able to testify to their extreme value as an 

On Nursing. 223 

educational influence on the poor whom they serve, and who 
at present would not admit any others to live in their 

It is impossible to close without lamenting the many 
omissions which, from lack of time and space, are no doubt 
perceptible in this brief survey. Nothing has been said of 
the many excellent colonial centres, and the faithful nursing- 
missionary work being done in the wild places of the earth 
by devoted women. Miss Marsden was the last before the 
public, a name of which every Englishwoman may be proud, 
for her perilous and heroic journey to succour the lepers in 
Eastern Siberia, an undertaking which is likely to prove of 
great benefit. 

224 Woman s Mission. 



I HAVE been asked to write a short account of the work done 
by the Royal School of Art Needlework, in order that it 
may be included among the papers on philanthropic work 
in England, which are to be read at the Chicago Exhibition. 
I feel great diffidence in complying with this kind request, and 
beg for lenient criticism. 

The Royal School of Art Needlework sprang, so to speak, 
from nothing, and has now become one of the most important, 
if not the most important school of its kind. I would be 
bold enough to say that it is the only school of its kind in 
the kingdom. 

As I have said, it sprang from nothing. Some friends of 
mine, Lady Welby Gregory in particular, first suggested the 
idea, and spoke to me about it. I was at once greatly struck 
by and interested in the scheme, and asked her to let me 
help her in carrying it out. 

The idea was this : first of all to restore the nearly-lost art 
of ornamental needlework to its high place among decorative 
arts, and in the second place to provide suitable employment 
for gentlewomen who, through loss of fortune or other reverses, 
are obliged to earn their own livelihood. The school was 
founded in 1872, twenty-one years ago. A small room in a 
house in Sloane Street saw its beginning, and in 1875 it was 
removed to its present home in Exhibition Road, when my 
mother, the Queen, became its patron and conferred on it the 
prefix " Royal." 

In 1878, experience having shown that the objects for 

The Royal School of Art Needlework. 225 

\vhich the school had been founded were appreciated by the 
public, it was determined to establish it on a more permanent 
basis. The school was accordingly incorporated under the 
Corporation Acts, and received the licence of the Board of 
Trade applicable to associations not constituted for purposes 
of profit, by the terms of which the income and property of 
the school, whencesoever derived, must be applied solely to 
the promotion of the object of the school. 

The management is vested in the president and com- 

The school has hitherto been entirely self-supporting, and 
has received no Government grant, and although the building 
which it occupies at present is the property of her Majesty's 
Commissioners of Science and Art, a rent of 236 per annum 
has throughout been paid. 

Since the date of its foundation in 1872, when I accepted 
the office of president, the school has carried on an important 
work in its own department of art, in which it has for many 
years been the acknowledged leader both in this country and 
abroad. Representatives of other countries have for a long 
time past been in the habit of applying to the school for 
particulars as to the work, the method of instruction, and 
the details of management. Besides the position which it 
occupies in other respects, this institution fills a most useful 
purpose in giving employment to a large number of educated 
women, whose circumstances and conditions of life render it 
peculiarly difficult for them to obtain a livelihood, and without 
which they would have nothing but the workhouse or star- 
vation staring them in the face. 

A special feature in the working of the school is that, 
unlike most other societies or institutions, it has enabled its 
members to earn a small but steady livelihood, the rule being 
to admit only so many as there is a reasonable prospect of 
employing regularly, and we always pay for their work once 
a week, quite irrespectively of the returns of the school. I 
need not remark here that it should be well understood that 
such a L rule must involve a considerable sacrifice at times 
when business is less active than usual. We have passed 
through many anxious weeks and months, for as the work 
done is such as must be classed under the denomination of 


226 Woman s Mission. 

'' luxuries," the great depression, which has extended to all 
interests, has naturally affected us in no small degree. But 
the storm has been weathered, the school is going on its 
way surely and steadily, and the terrible thought of having 
to dismiss workers whose whole existence depended on their 
earnings at the school, no more torments those who have its 
welfare so much at heart. The workrooms are full, and 
orders are coming in. 

Branches and agencies, which have enabled the school to 
secure advantageous positions for some of its workers, have 
been formed from time to time in provincial towns and else- 

It must be borne in mind that the school has hitherto 
not been a teaching school, passing pupils on to other employ- 
ments. We have, however, taught a great number of persons. 
Those trained by the school, and who have become daily 
workers in it, are in number about three hundred and fifty, 
of whom from eighty to one hundred and fifty have been 
employed at the same time in the school itself. Of these 
some remain at this present moment who were in it when 
it was founded twenty-one years ago. Of these three 
hundred and fifty, fifty-one have, after qualifying them- 
selves, been passed on as teachers or workers to the 
colonies or elsewhere. Five proceeded directly from the 
school to be placed as heads of " Decorative Art " societies 
in America. 

Much more might have been done in this direction had 
the funds allowed, but the training of teachers is expensive, 
besides which, many of those who wish to fit themselves for 
such positions are deterred by their inability to give the 
necessary time for learning, and by circumstances which 
oblige them to earn their livelihood from day to day. The 
length of time required to train pupils so as to fit them to 
earn their own livelihood by needlework is eighteen months, 
allowing only the very shortest period of training. Three 
years are required for those who wish to obtain first-class 
certificates as teachers. The cost of training and teaching 
would be approximately from 16 to 20 a head for 
teachers, and half that sum for workers. That calculation 
is based on the assumption that two first-rate teachers are 

The Royal School of Art Needlework. 227 

required for every fifty pupils, and it does not include 
the necessary proportion of outlay for rent, plant, etc. 

Private lessons in art needlework have also been exten- 
sively given outside the school, in London and upwards of 
thirty provincial towns, to both individuals and classes, upon 
a fixed scale of fees. The number of such lessons given 
during the last ten years exceeds 6000. 

Ever since the school has been formed, my Council, 
Executive Committee, and I myself have looked forward to 
the time when the school might adopt systematic teaching 
on a larger scale, but want of funds has delayed all extension 
in this direction. Now, however, after making application 
to her Majesty's Commissioners for Science and Art for a 
grant, a portion of the site on which the French Court of the 
Exhibition of 1862 stood, has been given over to the school at 
a rental of 200 per annum. On this site it is my intention 
to erect a permanent building as head-quarters of the school. 
I am collecting funds for this purpose, and also for the 
permanent endowment of the school ; the training of pupils, 
who would afterwards earn their own livelihood by their 
work ; and the training of teachers, who would in their turn 
be sent to different parts of the country to train others. I 
am also most anxious that scholarships should be given,, 
and for this purpose I consider that 50 a year is the lowest 
amount on which any girl can live in London while under- 
going her training, taking it for granted that she has no* 
other means. 

So much has been done in England for the encourage- 
ment of other branches of art that I feel sure it will only 
be necessary to draw due attention to the subject of art 
needlework to secure for it full acknowledgment on the part 
of those who have in other ways shown their practical 
interest in all that pertains to the higher culture and future 
well-being of the women of this country. 

228 Woman s Mission. 



FROM the earliest days of Christianity women in Ireland 
were engaged in philanthropic work. Tradition and the few 
records left of Saint Brigid show her occupying herself with 
the poor, teaching the young and nursing the sick, and the 
recollection of her beneficence still abides in the minds of 
the people. 

During the penal times the majority of the Irish had no 
legal existence, could hold no property by law, and therefore 
helpful work could not be publicly undertaken by them ; but 
among the powerful minority there arose in the last century 
three women whose philanthropy established institutions 
in Dublin for the general good, which still continue to render 
service. These were Griselda Steevens, who devoted her 
entire fortune and energies to the poor in the hospital still 
bearing her name ; Mary Mercer, who built Mercer's Hos- 
pital and bequeathed a fund in perpetuity for the education 
and maintenance of poor girls ; and Lady Arabella Denny, 
who made a special work of the visitation of poor-houses 
in the interests of little children, finally devoting herself to 
the endowment of a Magdalen Asylum. 

It was not until after the relaxation of the penal laws 
that Mary Aikenhead, the daughter of a Cork physician, 
founded the religious order of the Sisters of Charity, having 
no capital to start with, except a great heart and a bright 
and] strong intelligence. The story of the uphill labours of 
this wise and energetic woman would fill volumes. She 

Philanthropic Work in Ireland. 229 

gathered around her women as ardent as herself, and insti- 
tuted a large and varied number of good works, which have 
been growing and extending ever since her day, for the suc- 
cour and elevation of her suffering countrymen and women. 

After her came Catherine Macaulay, who initiated the 
order of the Sisters of Mercy, vowed to similar noble enter- 
prises; and other religious orders have long since established 
themselves in the country for the service of the sick and 
poor, and the instruction of the ignorant and the young in 
their neighbourhood. 

At the present moment a large amount of philanthropic 
work of an industrial character, initiated and carried on by 
women of all denominations, is going forward in Ireland. 
Factories for weaving woollens and linens have been intro- 
duced into several convents, the most remarkable being the 
Providence Technical Woollen Manufactory at Foxford, 
founded and carried on by Mrs. Morrogh Bernard, of the 
Sisters of Charity, and her nuns. Of this important industry, 
and of the work carried on by Mrs. Rogers at Carrick and 
Carna, and by Miss Roberts among the Rosses, the wild 
headlands of Donegal, a very striking account is given by 
the Baroness Burdett-Coutts in her paper entitled " Woman, 
the Missionary of Industry." 

Several smaller undertakings in the weaving of wool have 
been set on foot in different parts of Ireland, the introduction 
of hand-looms in the houses of the peasants, and the sale of 
the cloth produced. One of these is the Baltony Frieze 
Industry, initiated by Mrs. Martin, who is an owner of 
property in a wild part of Donegal, where the tenants are 
poor and the land unremunerative and difficult of cultivation. 
There are now looms in five of the cottages, the wool of 
their own sheep is carded and spun in the family, and the 
tweed produced is sold by the agency of Mrs. Martin's 

At Tramore a similar work is carried on by Miss H. 
Reeves and Miss Woodroffe, lady superintendent of the 
Industrial Schools, these ladies having introduced three 
woollen and three linen looms among the cottages, besides 
erecting looms in Industrial Schools. 

The Sisters of Mercy at Skibbereen have opened a 

230 Woman's Mission. 

factory for weaving linen in their convent, assisted by Sir 
William Ewart of Belfast, who gave them useful practical 
advice, presented them with two looms, and opened a 
market for their productions. In 1891 they sent up forty- 
seven pupils who passed the examination by Government 
Inspectors in weaving, and forty-three other pupils were 
equally successful in 1892. The sisters have now twenty- 
three looms, nine wheels, and a warping mill at work, employ 
eighty-eight girls, and turn out sheeting, towelling, handker- 
chiefs, and dress lawns of finest quality. Seven religious 
communities have followed in the footsteps of the sisters 
at Skibbereen and have initiated small factories, the Sisters 
of Mercy at Queenstown having expended .400 on premises 
for linen-weaving. 

A much older industry in Ireland, and one most par- 
ticularly the work of women, is the manufacture of lace, 
which has been long established as employment for the poor, 
in religious houses, and in classes maintained by philanthropic 
ladies working individually or in groups in remote parts of 
the country. 

The Youghal lace, made by peasant women under the 
Presentation Nuns, deserves its high reputation. In the 
course of time fifty new stitches have been invented by 
the workers, in addition to those of the old Italian lace they 
first learned to make, and as they also produce their own 
designs, the Youghal lace may be almost said to be an 
original fabric. The lace-makers of Youghal have earned as 
much among them as from ;i6oo to ;i8oo per annum. 
Many of the original workers are now aged widows and 
continue to support themselves by their art. They have in 
their time supplied lace to two Popes, to Her Majesty Queen 
Victoria, and to many other distinguished personages. A 
lace flounce valued at 70 per yard, and fans at 30 each, 
have been prepared at Youghal for exhibition at the Chicago 
World's Fair. The earnings of the workers vary from two 
shillings to ten shillings per week. 

Other lace-making convents are those of the Poor Clares, 
Kenmare, County Kerry, of Our Lady of Mercy, Holy Cross, 
Killarney, and of the Sisters of St. Louis, Carrickmacross. 
Handsome embroideries, known as Mountmellick work, are 

Philanthropic Work in Ireland. 231 

made at the Presentation Convent, Mountmellick, Queen's 

In Limerick there is an interesting revival of an old art 
which had fallen into decay. About ten years ago Mrs. 
R. V. O'Brien, niece of the late Matthew Arnold, and 
adopted daughter of the late W. E. Forster, Chief Secretary 
for Ireland, undertook to restore this art ; and the work is 
now flourishing in a pleasant room in Bank Place, Limerick, 
where about twenty girls sing the Irish melodies over their 
dainty stitches, and make charming articles for ladies to 
wear, even of the latest fashion, including graceful fronts for 
tea-gowns, etc. 

Mrs. Hall Dare has maintained a lace class at New- 
townbarry, County Wexford, since the year 1868, learning 
to make Greek and Italian lace in London that she might 
teach twenty poor girls to earn their livelihood. After a 
great deal of pains, Mrs. Hall Dare succeeded in teaching 
the girls to make the lace. She provided the materials, 
paid the girls once a week for the work done, and took all 
risks. For a great many years she lost money, but the work 
is now self-supporting, and the workers can earn as much as 
ten shillings a week. She has, however, only a few workers 
at present, as she finds that the girls around her no longer 
submit to the tedium of learning to make lace. 

A similar class is to be found in Cappoquin, County 
Waterford, owing its existence to the benevolent exertions 
of Miss Keane. 

At Ballintra Miss Hamilton has given her protection to 
a number of poor women who had for years earned scanty 
wages by working exquisite embroideries in their homes, 
and under exceeding difficulties. Miss Hamilton has 
supplied them with new materials and designs, and raised 
the standard of their work, which has thus become more 

Another branch of needlework is hand-sewing of fine 
under-garments, which gives employment to many girls 
under the care of the Sisters of Mercy and Charity in 
different localities. In some places the work is so exqui- 
sitely done that orders are received from the ladies of highest 
position, for trousseaux, etc. Among these high schools for 

232 Woman s Mission. 

sewing are those of the Sisters of Mercy at Newry and the 
Sisters of Charity at Merrion, near Dublin. Dressmaking is 
taught and carried on at the Convent of the Sisters of Saint 
Louis, Carrickm across, where a skilled mistress instructs 
about eighty girls in cutting out and making up all kinds of 
dresses, shirts, petticoats, pinafores, aprons, etc. 

But it is not possible to enumerate here all the convents 
which are centres for industrial work of this kind. In Castle- 
finn an admirable hand-sewing industry has been carried on 
for years by the devoted exertions of Mrs. and the Misses 
Scott, who enable a large number of girls and women to earn 
a livelihood and live in contentment. Mrs. Bagwell and 
other ladies give a considerable share of their time to a 
sewing-class in Clonmel, where girls are taught to make and 
mend their own clothing. Mrs. Ponsonby, of Garry Hill, 
gives her care to a class, which has been very happy in 
results, for drawn linen work, work of silk on linen, and 
lace, etc. An industry of wool embroidery is fostered by 
Mrs. Vesey, of Bagnalstown. Lady Gregory, of Coole, County 
Galway, has by her exertions improved the red flannel made 
by the country people. At Ballyardle, County Down, Miss 
Stewart has changed the conditions of a whole district by 
teaching the poor women to knit and embroider for the 
market which she opens to them. 

Mrs. Sinclair sends particulars of her work among the 
cottage homes of Donegal which are exceedingly interesting. 
Hard and grim as are the conditions of life in that stern 
region, she has found means to soften the lot of the peasant 
by providing work, the making up of clothing, also wood- 
carving, for which the pupils have aptitude ; and she has 
even started a cottage hospital, where the sick are cared for 
and befriended. In speaking of their work Mrs. Sinclair says 
truly, " Irish girls seem particularly capable of appreciating 
skill when they see it ; and to show them excellence, I have 
found, is most successful in leading them on." She recom- 
mends a system of certificates, guarded against fraudulent 
use, for the benefit of girls who take the trouble to persevere : 
employers might be directed thus to safe workers, and 
might give them better wages. 

A knitting industry is centred in Valencia Island, under the 

Philanthropic Work in Ireland. 233 

care of Miss E. Fitzgerald ; and here the workers do a special 
business in knitted jerseys, which are sent to the United 
States and Canada, the Falkland Islands, Austria, and France. 
Like others, the benevolent promoters of this industry had 
many obstacles to surmount in the beginning, but the only 
remaining difficulty is that of obtaining sufficient orders to 
keep willing hands employed. In passing on to mention other 
industries of this very interesting character, I may say that 
those I have named bear but a small proportion to the 
number of works in knitting and needlework of every kind 
for the relief of Irish poverty, carried on by women, both lay 
and of religious orders in this country. 

More novel and perhaps therefore more striking is the 
basket and wickerwork industry going forward under the 
direction of Miss Sturge, at Letterfrack, in Connemara. 
Finding the people half-starved, and idle for lack of employ- 
ment, Miss Sturge decided on settling among them for 
their benefit. Bringing with her a skilful French wicker- 
worker, she succeeded in getting a loan of the Court House 
of the district in which to begin her operations. She has 
now a large iron building, which is a technical school and 
factory, and beautiful delicate work is sent out by her pupils, 
who are able to make almost anything of wickerwork beds, 
chairs, tables, book-cases. The employment given, with its 
remuneration, has, needless to say, greatly improved the 
condition of the people. 

Another very useful enterprise is that under Miss 
Bourke, at Lisnagary, Limerick, where boys and men learn 
to carve in wood, and succeed so well that orders have been 
received for pieces of handsome carving from far across the 
world, and even from the President of the Royal Academy 
of London, Sir Frederick Leighton. Some of these carvings 
are wrought from the strange and beautiful designs in ancient 
Irish manuscripts. In a charming report Miss Bourke makes 
one feel how refining and elevating is the effect of this 
art on the youth of the neighbourhood, and in the homes at 

To the Munster Dairy and Agricultural School have been 
added classes, the expense of which is defrayed by a number 
of ladies in committee, who have benevolently desired to 

234 Womafis Mission. 

teach additional kinds of usefulness to the girls who come 
to the school to learn a thorough system of dairying. In 
these classes the girls are taught cooking, economical manage- 
ment of food, cooking for the sick, laundry work, and plain 

Before quitting the subject of small industries we must 
give honourable mention to those which enable ladies who 
have met with reverse of fortune to gain a little money in 
a quiet way by their own exertions. This is a noble work, 
for few suffer so much from poverty as the gentlewoman who, 
having been delicately nurtured, finds herself destitute of the 
means of living, and shrinks from calling attention to her 
unhappy state. 

Of these kindly undertakings is Mrs. Dalison's Guild for 
Impoverished Irish Gentlewomen. Finding a large number 
of ladies suffering in poverty from the failure of rents, Mrs. 
Dalison supplied them with designs and materials for sale- 
able work, and at a recent sale at Grosvenor House, London, 
exhibited some really beautiful things made by gentlewomen. 
Mrs. Dalison's invaluable work is steadily increasing in 

Another enterprise of this excellent class is the Irish 
Ladies' Work Society, Kingstown, Dublin, which numbers 
one hundred members and is self-supporting. It has a stall at 
the annual sale at the Albert Hall, London, and receives 
orders from the depot in Devonshire Street The depot of 
this society is at 47, Georges Street, Kingstown. 

Under this head may also be described the Royal Irish 
Association for Promoting the Training and Employment of 
Women, which was established in 1883, to provide technical 
training for women, and suitable remunerative employment 
for those so trained. Work is undertaken in scrivenery, 
plan-tracing, type-writing, illuminating, wood-carving, and 
printing. Pupils who are learning in order to get their liveli- 
hood receive a month's instruction of two lessons a week for 
five shillings. Though doing a large amount of work, and 
assisting numbers, the society is not yet self-supporting, and 
depends on the subscriptions of members. 

The orphanages and training-schools for boys and girls 
maintained by the exertions of women are so numerous 

Philanthropic Work in Ireland. 235 

throughout Ireland that, in speaking of them, one scarcely 
knows where to begin. This is a work to which the religious 
orders especially devote themselves, and it is impossible 
within the limits of this paper even to mention all. 

For instance, the poor schools of the Sisters of Mercy, Saint 
Marie of the Isles, Cork, accommodate one thousand children, 
and they have usually seventy children in their orphanage. 
This work is repeated again and again throughout the re- 
ligious houses of women. A remarkable training school is 
that of the Sisters of Charity at Stanhope Street, Dublin, 
which is devoted to the children of respectable parents, or 
orphans whose guardians wish to have them trained to 
industry. Having trained their girls, the sisters start them 
in life by procuring good situations for them as servants, 
teachers, nursery governesses. A large proportion are sent 
to noble families in France, as English-speaking maids. 
In the institution at present are one hundred and thirty 
children, no Government aid being given. A National School, 
attended by six hundred children, is in the grounds of the con- 
vent, and taught by the sisters, who also visit four parochial 
schools in the neighbourhood, and give instruction privately in 
the evenings to classes from without the walls. The sisters 
also visit the convict and county prison as well as two hospitals. 
An office for servants is attached to this institution. 

The training of the female blind is another work of the 
Sisters of Charity, carried on at Merrion, near Dublin. One 
hundred and sixty blind inmates, from mites of three years 
to grandmothers of eighty, receive the constant care of the 
sisters, and form a large and happy household. They are 
taught all that it is possible to teach the blind, and their 
tasks are so pleasantly mingled with recreation and amuse- 
ment that, having spent some time among them, one is 
inclined to wonder if blindness be a great affliction under 
such circumstances. There is an air of refinement and a 
gentle mirth about them all, especially remarkable in the 
little children. These small creatures receive the visitor with 
a tender confidence which shows how they are accustomed 
to caresses, and come waving their little arms towards one, 
with that peculiar and piteous movement of a sightless child, 
asking with their soft and musical voices for permission to 

236 Woman's Mission. 

"see" the stranger. The music cultivated by the blind 
women and girls is delightful. Several harps and pianos 
stand at the end of a great hall, with the aid of which really 
fine musical entertainments are given. All who have voices 
sing over their knitting and sewing, others tell stories or 
recite poetry in the intervals of lively conversation. There 
remains on my memory one pathetic face, a blind face at the 
organ in the chapel. A girl was there, solitary, practising 
sacred music ; she could not see us come in, and thought 
herself alone. It was a grey face, with no beauty but the 
expression, which told how the soul in darkness was thrilled 
and comforted by the solemn strains evoked by her hands. 
Another sight to remember was that of three blind women 
walking quickly, arm in arm, with their heads bent down 
walking in the dark along a path in the light Their peculiar 
swift movement of three as one, gave them the look of being 
driven along by a wind. These sightless scholars are taught 
reading and writing in the Braille characters, history, grammar, 
geography, type-writing, needlework ; and music, vocal and 
of many instruments. Under the same roof the sisters have 
an industrial school, a training school for girls from sixteen 
to eighteen years old, a hand-sewing industry where exquisite 
underclothing for ladies is made up ; in all a family of four 
hundred souls. The Sisters of Charity also maintain, near 
Cork, a similar institution for the blind. 

Attached to the Cork Workhouse a training school was 
opened some eight years ago by a committee of ladies of all 
denominations, who united in an effort to rescue girls of 
sixteen from the evils threatening them on their removal 
from that part of the workhouse known as the schools. On 
being drafted into the body of the house, the girls met with 
bad companions, who enticed them out into the city to their 
ruin. At the best they were ignorant of everything useful, 
and totally unable to find employment. The ladies, having 
gained from the guardians an extension of time in school 
for the girls, instituted classes to instruct them in house- 
work, cookery, etc. A separate ward and a matron have 
been provided, and already over a hundred girls are enabled 
to earn livelihoods in situations outside the " house," instead 
of, at the best, remaining there a burthen on the ratepayers. 

Philanthropic Work in Ireland. 237 

It is cheering to learn that some of the girls so assisted have 
now got money saved and in bank. 

Among orphanages the most original and extended is 
that of the Sisters of the Holy Faith, of Glasnevin, Dublin, 
whose system is founded on fosterage, and who place the 
children they undertake to provide for, not en masse in a 
great building or "home," but out in the open country in 
the cottages of the peasantry, one here and one there, all 
enjoying the individual love and care which are the in- 
heritance of poor children in Ireland possessed of father and 
mother, no matter how mean the dwelling or how frugal the 
living of the family. The sisters have the nurslings under 
their personal observation, visiting them frequently and 
unexpectedly, and thus assuring themselves of their condition 
and treatment. The children, with their foster-brothers and 
sisters, attend the nearest schools, and the foster-mother 
receives in addition to an annual stipend a reward of ten 
shillings when the child can say his prayers. A further 
prize is given when he is able to read. The plan works 
perfectly, the Irish peasant being particularly fitted for such 
a trust. It often occurs that the orphans, when grown up, 
are regarded by the foster father and mother as their own 
children ; in some cases remaining for the comfort and 
support of the old people when they have been deprived of 
sons and daughters by death or the exigencies of life. This 
orphanage has been designed for the poorest poor, and up 
to the present has rescued 2108 children from destitution. 
Of these, 1873 have been provided for; among whom 507 
have been finally adopted by the foster parents, and have 
become members of respectable Irish peasant families. Two 
hundred and thirty-five boys and girls are at present in the 
orphanage. Connected with the orphanage are poor-schools, 
in Dublin, by means of which twenty thousand children, saved 
from poverty, ignorance, and the danger of vice, are now, 
to the extent of ninety per cent, respectable men and women 
earning independent livelihoods. The schools and orphanage 
were founded some years ago by the late Margaret Aylward. 

Orphanages carried on by women individually, include 
Mrs. Smyly's Birds' Nest, in connection with which are schools, 
and homes for boys and girls in Kingstown and Dublin ; and 

238 Woman's Mission. 

the Sacred Heart Home for girls and boys at Drumcondra, 
Dublin, which is maintained by the exertions of ladies. 

The home for aged men and women, supported by the 
Little Sisters of the Poor in Dublin, must not be forgotten. 
These devoted sisters feed their household on the meat and 
bread which they beg from door to door, making tea from 
the tea-leaves saved for them in hotels and large houses. A 
visit to their kitchen will show what appetizing soups and 
mince can be made of materials thus obtained. Even bread 
is so neatly cut in small dice that it looks as if fresh from 
the baker's tray. Having thus with astonishing economy 
utilized, literally, the crumbs that fall from the rich man's 
table, the Little Sisters first serve the table of their poor 
clients, and afterwards, with what remains, set forth their own. 
Here, the old women can enjoy their cups of tea, and the old 
men their pipes comforts ignored by the workhouse system. 

Among other homes and asylums supported by women, 
is the Magdalen Asylum at High Park, near Dublin, where 
the Sisters of the Good Shepherd devote their lives to the 
care of poor fallen girls and women, instructing them, employ- 
ing them in laundry-work, and encouraging them to lead 
useful and virtuous lives in this industrial retreat. A similar 
asylum at Donnybrook, near Dublin, is supported by the 
Sisters of Charity. Another admirable work of this kind is 
the Londonderry and North West of Ireland Home for 
Women, under the protection of Mrs. Alexander, wife of the 
Bishop of Derry, where twenty-one poor fallen women and 
girls are sheltered and employed, and assisted to emigrate 
or obtain a means of livelihood. 

Mention should be made of the vast amount of good done 
in Ireland by women of all denominations, in the nursing and 
visitation of the sick and poor by means of societies and 
sodalities in connection with the various churches, assistance 
in clothing and money being given according to available 
resources. The Ladies' Sanitary Association in Dublin 
undertakes to interest poor women in keeping their homes 
clean and neat, and to help them in this difficult matter by 
procuring soap and other necessaries for them at a very low 
price. Miss Reeves, who has been for years active in this 
excellent work, has stated at a meeting of ladies that her 

Philanthropic Work in Ireland. 239 

experience led her to wonder how the people can be so clean 
as they are, rather than to condemn them for indifference 
to cleanliness. Considering that soap costs money where 
children are hungry, and remembering the labour of carrying 
water in pailfuls to rooms in the top of wretched tenement 
houses, we must forbear from unkind criticism of the habits 
of the poor. The women who hang their clothes to dry 
on poles out of high windows, or lie down with their families 
to sleep at night in the steam of garments drying around 
them, have far more patience and resolution than we should 
have under the same circumstances. " I have known a poor 
woman," said Miss Reeves, "who would spend the hours 
allotted for sleep, furtively drying her washing of clothes in 
a yard where she was a trespasser, making use of lines which 
were occupied by the owner of the place from early morning 
until late into the night." 

The work of women in hospitals is too large a subject to 
be satisfactorily treated in a short paper. There are, how- 
ever, three hospitals in Dublin which owe their existence 
entirely to women, and are carried on by their exertions. 
One, known as the Mater Misericordiae, has been founded, and 
is managed, and tended by the Sisters of Mercy, who support 
it altogether by voluntary contributions. It is by far the 
largest general hospital in Dublin, containing 323 beds. 
In 1866 it was mentioned by Dr. Bristowe, in his report 
to Government on the hospitals of the United Kingdom, 
as "promising to be one of the finest hospitals in Europe." 
This promise has already been fulfilled. The hospital is of 
great size, and built on the corridor plan. The report of the 
Dublin Hospitals Commission of 1887 states: "As regards 
site, extent, and architectural design, it has no rival." During 
the cholera of 1886, the hospital was open for patients at all 
hours, and the Sisters of Mercy were the only nurses. During 
the two epidemics of small-pox, over 1200 cases were treated. 
In 1891, 3512 patients were admitted, and the mortality was 
very small. Extensive dispensaries in connection with the 
hospital are open every day, and a large training-school for 
nurses has recently been established. The sick poor are 
admitted without distinction of creed, and clergymen of all 
denominations have free access to their co-religionists. The 

240 Woman s Mission. 

Sisters of Mercy take nothing whatever for their own main- 
tenance and services from the funds of the establishment, so 
that all contributions are applied entirely for the support of 
the patients. The addition of a special fever wing to the 
hospital is in contemplation. 

On the same plan, but of smaller proportions, is St. 
Vincent's Hospital in St. Stephen's Green, founded and 
tended by the Sisters of Charity. 

The Children's Hospital in Upper Temple Street, Dublin, 
is also in the care of the Sisters of Charity, but was instituted 
by the late Mrs. Ellen Woodlock. For some years Mrs. 
Woodlock carried it on with the assistance of a band of 
young ladies, who visited and assisted in nursing the children. 
A brigade of little boys and girls who saved their pocket- 
money for the charity, and interested themselves in the 
patients, formed a special feature of the work under her 
management. The hospital has cured and sent forth every 
year since its opening a large number of children who were 
carried in maimed and diseased, and many who lay in the 
little beds with crooked limbs and twisted feet are now 
strong men and women, taking an active part in the world. 
Mrs. Woodlock was a true philanthropist, and in the early 
days of our poor laws did a noble work in taking poor girls 
out of the union schools and placing them in positions to 
acquire independence. Together with Mrs. Sarah Atkinson, 
she with great difficulty effected an opening for lady visitors 
into the dismal interior of the South Dublin Union Work- 
house. Here they devoted their attention chiefly to a 
number of young women, who had been born in the house, 
and, in the absence of training and human sympathy, 
had grown up so wild and unruly that sometimes they 
could only be controlled by force and the punishment of 
solitary confinement. These apparently intractable young 
women were first softened by affectionate personal kindness 
and religious influence, and then placed by Mrs. Woodlock 
and Mrs. Atkinson in an industrial school and home which 
the ladies had established. There the girls eventually 
developed into clever and industrious persons, many of whom 
are now worthily filling posts of trust in different quarters 
of the globe. This was before the day of Government grants, 

Philanthropic Work in Ireland. 241 

and after struggling for some years to maintain its position 
the good work was reluctantly relinquished for want of 
financial support. 

An admirable undertaking was initiated in 1892, in 
Londonderry, by Mrs. Ward Poole, representative of the 
British Women's Temperance Association. The ladies of 
this society interest themselves in the women of the working 
class, whom they influence to take and keep a pledge 
against inebriating drinks. Weekly or fortnightly meetings 
in cottages are held in different parts of the town. The 
society is happy in its choice of a secretary, Miss Thompson, 
who devotes herself to the work and has gained the sympathy 
of the people. This is an enterprise well suited to women 
of benevolence and refinement, who by personal sympathy 
may save their poor sisters from the sin and degradation of 
intemperance. Individual efforts have here and there been 
made with very fortunate results, and it is a pity that the 
work is not undertaken all over the country by women, 
single-handed, or in groups of even two and three. The 
village of Ardmore, County Waterford, has undergone a 
remarkable change through the efforts of Mrs. Barry, who a 
few years ago succeeded in enlisting the fishermen of the 
neighbourhood in a local temperance-league. Above the 
reefs of steep rock overhanging the green ocean, and forming 
a small creek where the boats go out and come in, stands the 
modest Temperance-hall, of cottage form, where the men 
read the newspapers and drink hot coffee in preference to, 
alcoholic stimulants. The story of Mrs. Barry's work is a 
very simple one. Inspired by the ideal beauty of the place^ 
and the interesting character of the people, she desired to do 
good, and began by getting possession of a large barn where 
she provided newspapers and a fire, and where she herself 
sat with the fishermen in the evenings, chatting with them 
over their affairs and the news of the day. The result is the 
extraordinary temperance of Ardmore. 

The good work known as the penny dinners is prosper- 
ing in Dublin and Cork, under the care of ladies of every 
denomination. Four establishments at work in Dublin, are 
gratefully frequented by the classes for which they were 
designed. The dining-rooms are situated in lanes, in popu- 


2 4 2 Woman s Mission. 

lous neighbourhoods, and are generally the back premises 
of a large house altered and fitted to their present require- 
ments. Each consists of a kitchen with bright kettles and 
caldrons, presided over by a man and his wife who live on 
the spot, and an eating-room with benches and tables, white 
walls decorated with pictures, and neatly sanded floor. The 
dinners are attended by the ladies as waitresses, and the 
food is varied according to the days of the week. Irish stew 
and bread, soups with meat and bread, bacon and cabbage 
and potatoes, fish and potatoes, pea-soup and bread, succeed 
each other in rotation. Coffee with bread and marmalade 
can be had for an extra halfpenny. The hours are from 
twelve till four o'clock, and persons wishing to take home 
the dinners can do so. The pennies paid for dinners 
cover the price of food, assisted by presents of provisions 
from well-wishers and the generosity of trades-people. A 
sum of .50 a year must be found by the promoters for 
rent, for the wages of man and wife who act as cooks, care- 
takers, and general working managers on the premises, for 
fuel, and other incidental expenses. In some places the 
dinners are given only during a certain season, because in 
summer there is a migration to country parts of the wander- 
ing poor hurdy-gurdy players, basket-hawkers, ballad-singers, 
whose avocations lead them away from the city, by green 
roads and dusty highways, in search of " fresh woods and 
pastures new " as the scenes of their labours. At Verschoyle 
Court, Dublin, the doors are never closed, winter or summer, 
and the attendance is steady by day and by month, though 
the place is very seldom overcrowded. " We have our regular 
customers," says the nice young woman who presides over 
the caldrons, as she takes up a ladleful of savoury stew. 
" That old gentleman," she adds, " is as regular as the clock." 
The old gentleman in question is a superannuated butler, 
who, having fallen upon old age and bad health, is glad to 
find here something resembling the comfortable meal to 
which he had been once accustomed. He looks pale and 
half-starved, for even a penny dinner a day is not sumptuous 
faring ; but his shabby black clothing and spotless neckcloth 
are as carefully put on as though he had prepared to serve 
behind his master's chair at a far different dinner-table than 

Philanthropic Work in Ireland. 243 

this. At another table are two labourers of the order who 
stand all the day idle because no man has hired them, and, 
from their hungry and crestfallen air, one feels afraid that it 
would take much more than the proffered pennyworth of 
dinner to satisfy their patient unsatisfiedness. Near them is 
a group of newspaper-sellers and lads in search of work. At 
Gloucester Street the latter class is most largely represented ; 
and whereas there are shoes, however broken, at Verschoyle 
Court, there are few to be seen at Hill Street or Loftus Lane. 
At Kevin Street the premises and attendance are largest. 
The poor are perhaps at their poorest in Loftus Lane. Ex- 
cellent order is kept, however, and general good humour 
prevails, though too much hilarity is not encouraged by the 
managers. The little fish-selling girls and newspaper boys, 
well acquainted with each other out-of-doors, meet frequently 
at the penny-dinner table, and their experience of life, their 
knowledge of race-courses and all kind of open-air meetings, 
their good luck and bad luck, their amusements, pains, and 
inconveniences, are all poured out freely to the stranger who 
is sympathetic enough to replenish their empty coffee-cans 
without waiting to be invited. One bright lad of fifteen 
confides his anxiety to give up newspaper-selling and get 
regular work. " I could get work," he explains, " if I had 
any one to give me a character." He seems to think, poor 
boy, that one could give him a character as easily as a piece 
of bread and jam. The cry heard everywhere among these 
half-starved creatures is a cry for work ; and how, in this hard 
world, are they all to find an answer to it? 

Another very noble and interesting branch of women's 
philanthropic work, and one well represented in Ireland, 
is that which deals with the moral, social, and spiritual welfare 
of girls, and of young women who are already able to take 
a part in the world, and whose lives are brightened and 
fortunes influenced by the sisterly and motherly care and 
sympathy of women whom Providence has placed in a 
higher position. Of such is the Girls' Friendly Society, 
founded by the Dowager Countess of Meath, for "girls of 
all stations." The objects are "the spiritual, moral, and 
social elevation of women, by enrolling them together in 
a society which gives noble aims, and which excites and 

244 Woman s Mission. 

satisfies their enthusiasm, and provides them with friends, 
who, in difficult and trying positions, may help them to stand 
firm and true to the baptismal promises made for them, to- 
be Christ's faithful soldiers and servants to their life's end." 
The intentions are : I. To bind together in one society 
ladies as associates, and girls and young women as members, 
for mutual help (religious and secular), for sympathy and 
prayer. 2. To encourage purity of life, dutifulness to parents, 
faithfulness to employers, temperance and thrift. 3. To pro- 
vide the privileges of the society for its members, wherever they 
may be, by giving them an introduction from one branch to 
another. The useful works of this society are : obtaining situa- 
tions for servants ; taking care of emigrants, a home being 
provided for the latter at Derry ; lodges and recreation-rooms 
where young women in business can live moderately and 
where evening classes are held ; and an attempt is made to 
provide wholesome literature. Of late a department for the 
deaf and dumb has been opened. The society numbers 
9862 members, and, including candidates and helpers, 
reckons 14,613 souls who are working for the society in 
Ireland. Writing from the branch in Derry, Miss Alexander 
says, " The society does not go down into the deep tragedies 
of life, or rise to any heights of imagination and sentiment ; 
it is intended for the even and sometimes uninteresting high- 
road of the commonplace. As the member toils along every 
day she is provided with a friend to sustain her when she 
is weary, to encourage her when she stumbles, to help her 
to gather what flowers she may by the roadside, and to warn 
her not to stray to the right hand or to the left into pleasant 
fields or alluring shades." 

Very like the above society is the Young Women's 
Christian Association, in the diocese of Derry and Raphoe 
numbering five hundred and ten members. 

The sodalities of the "Children of Mary" attached to 
every church and convent of the religious orders in Ireland 
have in many particulars the same aims and objects as the 
societies just described. The members are assisted by each 
other, those of better station helping their lowlier sisters to 
lead lives higher and holier than ordinary, and all sharing, 
in prayers and pious practices prescribed by the rules. 

Philanthropic Work in Ireland. 245 

Circulating libraries are attached to the meeting-places of 
these sodalities, and ladies strive to procure for the readers 
a supply of wholesome and pleasant as well as solid and 
edifying literature, which they may take to their homes, 
usually for the subscription of one halfpenny per week. Even 
apart from religious influences, there is no doubt such asso- 
ciations work incalculable good. Many young women, toiling 
from year to year in shops and warehouses, lead lives of 
piety and mental refinement, encouraged by intercourse with 
educated and high-minded ladies who are interested in their 
daily trials. On the other hand, the ladies often gain much 
by the example of patience and fortitude unconsciously put 
before them by these humbler sisters who look up to them. 

There is a class of good work by women which may be 
called pleasant help, not concerned with either industrial 
effort or the administration of actual charity, but which is a 
great sweetener of life to the struggling and labouring poor. 
Of this class is the Gardening Society of Culmore, started 
sixteen years ago by Mrs. Stack, wife of the then rector. 
The gardening is done in the cottages rather than outside, 
as, we are told, not more than one in three of the cottages 
possesses a garden, though the inmates all desire one. The 
cottagers are encouraged to neatness within their homes, and 
the culture of flowers, for which they receive prizes. A show 
held once a year, in July, is the occasion of much pleasure. 
The society gives prizes for flowers, neat houses, sewing, knit- 
ting, butter-making, all sorts of women's work ; while the 
boys compete in mat-weaving, basket-making, boat-modelling. 

Another pleasant help is the Girls' Evening Home, London- 
derry, where over a hundred girls, employed in factories or 
elsewhere, meet to spend their evenings in the company of 
one or more of the ladies interested in the work. With music, 
games, needlework, and instruction in reading and writing, if 
desired, the evenings are made delightful after the mono- 
tonous work of the day. A library and temperance society 
are attached to the association. There is an annual " tea," 
and occasional instructive and interesting " talks " are given 
by outside friends. 

Other such helps are the Turkish Bath and Home for 
patients of the poorer classes at St. Ann's Hill, County Cork, 

246 Womaris Mission. 

and the Refreshment Rooms started at Athboy and Enfield by 
Mrs. Penrose and Miss Fowler, where on fair days they attend 
personally and serve out cold meat, tea, and coffee at eight- 
pence a head, or fourpence for a large sandwich, to farmers 
who have come a long distance before breakfast. This is an 
excellent idea, for under such circumstances it is very difficult 
for the farmers to get proper food, strong drink being usually 
the only substitute. 

In other parts of the County Meath, ladies are equally 
helpful. Mrs. Brownlow is interested in the stone-cutters 
in a quarry near her, and cultivates artistic ideas among 
them, by procuring patterns and designs for their work. 
Lady Adelaide Taylour has two classes for wood-carving, 
while Mrs. Roth well and other ladies manage a county store, 
where the poor may procure good provisions at a cheaper 
rate than in the shops. 

An industrial exhibition is to be held in Kells, in 1893, 
to encourage work, for amusement as well as profit, in 
the cottagers' winter evenings. In Cork, a flower-mission 
brightens the lot of the inmates of the hospitals and 
asylums, and a " creche " assists poor mothers who, being 
obliged to go out to work, are glad to pay a penny a day for 
the care of each child in their absence. In Cork, also, 1500 
women of the League of the Cross are visited in the lanes 
each week, by sixty ladies, who take an interest in their 
welfare, and assist them to improve in the matter of order 
and cleanliness in their homes. 

In conclusion, I will say a few words of a charity origi- 
nated by a woman, and carried on in truly heroic spirit by 
the Sisters of Charity at Harold's Cross, Dublin. It is not 
a hospital, for no one comes here expecting to be cured, nor 
is it a home for incurables, as the patients do not look 
forward to spending years in the place. It is simply a 
" hospice," where those are received who have very soon to 
die, and who know not where to lay their weary heads. The 
low, red-tiled passages and corridors of the old house have 
suggestions under their broad-beamed roof, quite unlike Mr. 
Henley's abode of suffering 

" Cold, naked, clean, half-workhouse and half-jail." 

Philanthropic Work in Ireland. 247 

Walking through the pleasantly coloured wards and 
rooms, one cannot but think that any creature might desire 
the boon of dying here ; but the Irish poor, whose spiritual 
yearnings are so intense, and who are in this place surrounded 
by religious consolations, find in it a foretaste of heaven. " I 
had been," says a visitor to the hospice, " for some minutes 
kneeling in the beautiful mortuary chapel, where fresh 
flowers are always blooming, before I perceived two figures 
extended on marble rests on either side of the altar, as the 
effigies lie that have lain so for centuries. Yet no sculpture 
ever possessed the beauty and sweetness of the figures I here 
saw : a man in the full maturity of youth, with dark hair and 
brown beard and handsome stately features ; a little girl, 
whose deep-fringed eyelids were closed over eyes that shone 
blue through the covering. Both had the same ineffable 
smile on their features, the look of having learned the secret 
of happiness, and of knowing themselves safe with God." A 
charity which concerns itself with the dying appeals almost 
more than any other to the naked human heart the heart 
of man stripped of all its conventional surroundings, and 
surprised behind all its barricades. Living poverty and 
suffering may be kept out of sight, but death comes to all, 
and no one can feel sure of what his circumstances and 
needs will be in his own supreme hour. Sympathy that 
springs from a touch of nature that makes the whole world 
kin is shown by the gifts that drop in to help this completely 
foundationless, and, in one sense, unprovided charity, which 
looks for its manna direct from the heavens. Bequests from 
those who, in the straits of their own soul's passage, re- 
member this pathetic labour of the Sisters of Charity, help 
occasionally, like the back-reaching of friendly hands ; and 
the poor themselves often contribute a mite to the work, 
feeling that should destitution overtake them in the end, 
they may yet hope to lie in the Nuns' Chapel before the 
earth receives them ; ere Nature begins to weave her veils 
of grass and dew over the weary heart's indisturbable 

248 Woman's Mission. 



IN writing of the work of women as Guardians of. the Poor, 
I have not tried to cover the whole ground of the poor law. 
I do not speak of large reforms now being generally dis- 
cussed, neither do I limit myself to the average working of 
the present law without the leaven of new ideas. But I 
propose to speak especially of those parts of poor law 
administration where the work of women as guardians has 
already made itself distinctly felt. Under some headings 
I tell of improvements that have passed beyond the stage 
of experiment, but have not yet come into common practice. 
Every year sees a wider adoption of improvements formerly 
considered beyond the scope of the poor law, and a generally 
awakened interest in these subjects will doubtless give many 
a wholesome spur to the movements of Boards of Guardians. 
If the whole story were told, it would be seen that quite 
a revolution has been effected in workhouse management 
since Miss Twining's first visit to a London workhouse in 
February, 1853, when her proposal to arrange systematic 
visiting by ladies was treated as a dangerous intrusion by 
Boards of Guardians and by the Central Poor-law Board 
alike. It is by a happy coincidence that just forty years 
after that first visit, a general order has been sent by the 
Local Government Board to all Boards of Guardians, 
authorizing them to appoint ladies, whether members of 
the Board of Guardians or not, whose duty it shall be to 
visit and examine the parts of the workhouse in which 
women or children are maintained, and to report any matters 

Women as Guardians of the Poor. 249 

that may appear to them as requiring the attention of the 
guardians. During the forty years many Boards of Guardians 
have sanctioned visiting committees of ladies, although on 
many others the old official jealousy has continued to dis- 
courage and hinder their work. It will be found an advantage 
to have it placed on a firm and recognized footing everywhere, 
though it would be no less than a disaster if the good were 
to become the enemy of the best, and to hinder the election 
of women as guardians. That such an effect was contem- 
plated in the order, no one will believe who remembers the 
words lately spoken by the President of the Local Govern- 
ment Board, the Right Hon. H. H. Fowler, M.P., when he 
said that he considered the constitution of any Board of 
Guardians defective that did not contain at least one woman 
among its members. 

Another order has been received at the same time, "em- 
powering individual guardians to visit and examine any 
part of any workhouse of the union or parish of which he 
is a guardian.". This order could not be better explained 
than by quoting from an article by Miss Twining, written 
in June, 1888. "It has been a matter of astonishment to 
many to discover, when elected, that they are not free to 
enter the buildings at any time, under any circumstances. 
Where a good understanding exists between the officials and 
the guardians, to whom they look for direction, such permis- 
sion and freedom will no doubt always be granted ; but it is 
evident that precisely in those cases where inspection is most 
needed, there it would be resented, and probably refused, as 
we have known to be the case." This anomaly is now re- 
moved. Every true guardian, and every inmate will welcome 
the change, and no faithful officer will be afraid of daylight. 

The great drink question may appear to have been 
avoided. It really underlies the whole subject, causing 
directly and indirectly at least seventy-five per cent, of the 
pauperism of the country. To speak of it adequately would 
take a paper to itself. No guardian could reflect steadily on 
the increasing number of lunatics, imbeciles, idiots, epileptics, 
feeble-minded, of men and women incapable of continued 
exertion, not to mention the strong and hardworking whose 
wages are squandered as soon as earned no woman, at least, 

-5 Woman's Mission. 

could reckon up all that she knows as a guardian, and then 
write of it without exposing herself to the charge of in- 
temperate temperance. 

In the year 1832 a Royal Commission was appointed to 
inquire into the working of the old poor law, and the con- 
dition of the people affected by it. The report of the Com- 
missioners, a work of deep interest, was published in 1834, 
and a great reform of the law was then made. It was worked 
at first experimentally, under the supervision of the Commis- 
sioners, who remained in office until 1847, when they collected 
in a general consolidated order the most important of the 
general regulations which they had issued. "The General 
Order of July 24th, 1847, which for the most part is still in 
force, embraces the whole field of the poor-law, and is, next 
to the Act of 1834, the foundation of the present system." * 

There is now one central authority, the Local Government 
Board, which is for some purposes supreme over Boards of 
Guardians all over the country. The Local Government 
Board's consent has to be obtained for the construction of 
new buildings, the appointment of officers, for alterations in 
salaries, and for alterations in diet There is a uniform system 
of accounts, which are audited by auditors from the Local 
Government Board. At first sight it would appear that, with 
so much interference by a central authority, there was little 
left for Boards of Guardians to do. As a matter of fact, the 
improvements of administration that follow on the election of 
an improved Board are so great that it might be supposed 
that a change had taken place in the law itself. The central 
control, while not strong enough to ensure good working, yet 
certainly prevents many abuses, and guarantees a certain 
average of fair administration. 

In the report of the Poor Law Commissioners for 1834, a 
long and dreary story of every vagary of waste and demorali- 
zation into which human stupidity could wander, there is one 
bright page, which records the labours of a voluntary com- 
mittee of ladies appointed by the Gravesend Board of Guar- 
dians to reform and superintend the management of their 
workhouse. The success of this piece of work did not suggest, 

* " English Poor-law System." Aschrott and Preston-Thomas. 

Women as Guardians of the Poor. 251 

as it might, the desirability of electing women to the Board 
of Guardians. It was not until women had been elected 
on School Boards, in 1870, that any woman was nominated 
as guardian of the poor. The first was Miss Merington, 
elected for Kensington in 1875. The movement to promote 
the election of women has grown steadily from that time to 
this, and there are now one hundred and thirty-five, a mere 
handful compared with the number of men elected, but quite 
enough to show what may be expected. There are also five 
women on the Metropolitan Asylums Board, a Board com- 
posed for the most part of representative members elected 
from the Metropolitan Boards of Guardians. 

The work of guardians divides itself broadly into the 
administration of outdoor and indoor relief, including the 
care of the sick and aged and of children, and the treatment 
of the able-bodied, in the infirmary, the schools, and the 
workhouse belonging to the parish or union. 

It is the business of the relieving officer to satisfy himself 
first that an applicant for relief is in real need ; and if the 
need is urgent, he must give food immediately. He must 
also make sure that the applicant has a claim on the parish 
where he applies, and must find, if possible, the children, 
parents, or grandparents, who may be called upon for main- 
tenance. Similar inquiries must be made in the case of a 
deserted wife. Where such maintenance is wilfully refused 
or neglected, the guardians take legal proceedings to obtain 
it. In the mean time they charge themselves with the care of 
the destitute person. They may not, as a rule, give outdoor 
relief to able-bodied men or women. Relief given to them, 
except in special emergencies, is given in the workhouse. 
As to aged and infirm people, and the children of widows, 
considerable discretion is allowed whether to give weekly 
allowances or indoor relief in the workhouse, the infirmary, 
or the schools. 

The workhouse may be called the receiving house. There 
the inmates are classified and separated according to their 
sex, age, state of health, and, to a certain extent, according 
to character. It is the duty of the master or matron to find 
suitable employment for every one at all able to work. 
People of industrious habits, even bed-ridden women, gladly 

252 Woman s Mission. 

perform their tasks, as they say "it helps to pass the time 
away." The idle and vicious are given the most laborious 
work, except when the medical officer certifies that they are 
unable to do it. In metropolitan parishes, lunatics, idiots, and 
most imbeciles, are sent away to asylums. In the country, 
harmless lunatics and idiots are still kept in the workhouse. 
The acute sick in large towns are generally sent to a separate 
infirmary, where they receive medical care and skilled nursing. 
Children are not permanently kept in the workhouses in 
London or in the great towns, but are detained only until 
they can be certified as thoroughly clean and in good health. 
Of course their parents, if they have any, may cease to be 
chargeable to the rates, and they will then remove the 
children. But those in the hands of the guardians will be 
sent away to separate schools the children of Protestants 
to the parish or district schools, and the children of Roman 
Catholics to schools managed under the educational autho- 
rities of their own church. In country parishes children are 
kept in the workhouse, but are generally sent to the nearest 
elementary school, like other children. Orphans and deserted 
children, over two years and under ten years of age, are by 
some guardians boarded out in the families of independent 
working people in the country, under the supervision of local 
boarding-out committees, and under the general control of 
the Local Government Board. 

From this short description of the classes of people dealt 
with by the guardians, it must be evident that there is plenty 
of scope for the special work of women. Before women were 
elected as guardians, many alleviations were brought within 
reach of the aged and infirm through the visits of ladies, who 
would lend them books, read to them or talk with them, and 
care for their comforts as far as they could while observing 
the discipline of the workhouse. This kind of visiting has 
been well described in a report by Mrs. Rose on " Lady 
Visitors to Workhouses," and it goes on to the present time. 
Other visitors turned their attention to the young women and 
girls in the workhouse, and by charitable effort encouraged 
and enabled those who were well disposed to start out again 
into the world, and to maintain themselves by honest work. 
In the course of their visiting they must often have wished 

Women as Guardians of the Poor. 253 

for improved Boards of Guardians, and they greatly helped 
forward the movement for electing women when once it had 

But one most important advance in workhouse man- 
agement was made ten years before the first woman was 
elected. For I must not fail to speak of the work of Agnes 
Jones, begun in 1865, as superintendent of the Brownlow Hill 
Workhouse Infirmary, Liverpool. Formerly the nursing 
there, as elsewhere, was done by pauper inmates. Mr. W. 
Rathbone proposed to substitute trained paid nurses for these 
worse than useless women, and undertook to bear all the 
expense connected with the experiment for three years, by 
which time he believed the success of the scheme would have 
recommended it to the Board of Guardians, and it would be 
adopted as the permanent system. Agnes Jones, a thoroughly 
trained and disciplined nurse, entered upon her duties in the 
spring of 1865. A party of twelve Nightingale nurses and 
seven probationers very soon joined her, and the work began 
in earnest of bringing order, light, and hope into that great 
house of misery, containing more than a thousand sick and 
infirm persons, beside the usual varieties of able-bodied 
inmates and children. At the end of two years the experiment 
was declared so completely successful that the Board of 
Guardians determined to adopt the system as a permanent 
one. Before the three years were ended, in February, 1868, 
Agnes Jones succumbed to an attack of fever, worn out by 
her long-continued anxious effort. To quote the words of 
Miss Florence Nightingale, " She lived the life and died the 
death of the saints and martyrs ; though the greatest sinner 
would not have been more surprised than she to have heard 
this said of herself. In less than three years she had reduced 
one of the most disorderly hospital populations in the world 
to something like Christian discipline, such as the police 
themselves wondered at. She had led, so as to be of one 
mind and heart with her, upwards of fifty nurses and proba- 
tioners ; of whom the faithful few she took with her of our 
trained nurses were but a seed. She had converted a vestry 
to the conviction of the economy as well as the humanity of 
nursing pauper sick by trained nurses, the first instance of the 
kind in England. But indeed the superstition seems now to 

254 Woman s Mission. 

be exploding, that to neglect sick paupers is the way to keep 
down pauperism." 

The Brownlow Hill Infirmary is now a kind of training- 
school for nurses, who go from thence to nurse in many 
of the infirmaries of the north of England. Many more of 
our large parish infirmaries have of late years been brought 
up to the level of hospitals for all ordinary illness. In the 
mean time the Workhouse Infirmary Nursing Association has 
been quietly at work for the last thirteen years, training and 
sending out nurses of proved character to infirmaries all over 
the country. They supply the nursing staffs to two in- 
firmaries in London and to eight in various country unions. 
There are now 116 of their nurses at work in fifty-two 
workhouse infirmaries. These numbers certainly are small, 
and it is to be hoped that they may greatly increase; but 
wherever an organized society trains a band of good 
workers it also raises the standard of work all round 
them. In answer to an application, the Local Government 
Board stated not long ago that they were prepared to 
sanction without further inquiry the appointment of nurses 
recommended by the Workhouse Infirmary Nursing Asso- 

As to parish infirmaries generally, the Local Government 
Board Report for 1892 says, "We are glad to be able to state 
that the character of the arrangements for the nursing of the 
sick poor in workhouses continues to improve generally 
throughout the country, both as regards the number of nurses 
employed and their qualifications for the office. This is more 
especially the case in the metropolis and some of the 
provincial towns." 

In the year 1872 a most important step was taken by 
the Right Hon. J. Stansfeld, M.P., then President of the Local 
Government Board, when he requested the late Mrs. Nassau 
Senior to undertake the work in which she spent the remain- 
der of her active life, namely, to organize an inquiry as to the 
career of girls brought up in our metropolitan parish and 
district schools. The value set upon her labours during the 
year of her first appointment was such that she was per- 
manently appointed Inspector of Workhouses and District 
Schools. The inquiry was in fact greatly extended, and was 

Women as Guardians of the Poor. 255 

conducted under her directions by ladies in many parts of the 
country with a view also of gaining evidence as to the 
boarding-out system. After completing and sifting evidence 
most laboriously obtained, it was found that fifty-three per 
cent, of the girls trained in our poor-law schools turned out 
badly, or were not satisfactorily accounted for ; that they 
frequently returned to the workhouse ; that they were dis- 
honest, dirty, sullen, and ignorant of the common things of 
life. The news was disappointing, almost insulting to those 
who had taken pride in the large and costly buildings where 
these children had grown up, where guardians had made visits 
of state, and had satisfied themselves that the children were 
well clothed and fed, and that they received schooling suitable 
to their class and station. It must still be remembered that 
these large district schools were a great advance on the old 
workhouse schools which they superseded. 

The next thing to do, the work Mrs. Senior had in hand 
when her health failed, was to form an association for be- 
friending these parish girls when they went into service. 
They had received official visits from the chaplain or the 
relieving officer while in their first place. Mrs. Nassau 
Senior proposed to substitute for the official visit a visit 
by a lady friend, a friend who would follow a girl up from 
one situation to another until she was twenty. The girls 
were not to go out as paupers or parish girls ; they were 
to be called young servants, and they were to be befriended, 
encouraged into self-respect, good temper, obedience and 
patience, into habits of cleanliness and thorough work, into 
thrift and independence. 

The Metropolitan Association for Befriending Young Ser- 
vants was founded in 1875, the same year as the Girls' 
Friendly Society.* In addition to its other works, the 
Girls' Friendly Society cares for 3657 girls brought up in 
country workhouses. The Metropolitan Association confines 
itself generally to working on Mrs. Senior's lines among girls 
brought up in the London poor-law schools, and among those 
of the same class outside the schools whose parents cannot 
give them a fairly good start in service. The total number 

* Mrs. Nassau Senior joined with Mrs. Townshend in founding the Girls' 
Friendly Society. 

256 Woman s Mission. 

on their books on December 31, 1892, was 8563, including 
2593 brought up in the poor-law schools. 

It is easy to give figures ; it is impossible to give an idea 
in few words of the mothering care given to these poor, lonely 
children in many a crisis of their lives. They may look dull 
and uninteresting, but the great war between good and evil 
is as fiercely waged in them as in others. If the day is won, 
it is probably owing to some woman who, not merely as the 
member of an association, but as a mother or a sister, has 
wrestled for the life of the lonely, ungoverned, reckless girl, 
and has helped her to new patience and new hope. 

So much for the direct work of this association, the largest 
existing charitable society having direct relations with a 
department of state, and whose work comes into the annual 
report of the Local Government Board. 

Perhaps the chief indirect work has been through the 
Boards of Guardians. The lady guardians especially have 
laid to heart all the reports they have received from the 
Metropolitan Association. Our great schools could not be 
destroyed. Could they be brightened and made more 
human? Step by step we have moved on in improving 
our school-teaching, beginning with the kindergarten, in 
encouraging active games, in making all possible breaks in 
the monotonous round of a school life which is necessarily 
without breakings up and set holidays. We have also given 
special attention to the industrial training of girls for situations 
in very small houses, and we have shortened the time before 
sending them to service. At first sight it might seem better 
to keep our girls and boys until they were sixteen, as the law 
would allow. But it has been found better to send them out 
before they settle into habits of dependence, and to free them 
from the pressure of large numbers all round them, which has 
a stupefying effect if long continued. Applications are received 
for our girls from mistresses. After inquiries have been made 
as to the suitability of a situation, if the guardians are satisfied 
they inform the secretary of the Metropolitan Association when 
the girl is going, and she arranges for a lady to visit. The 
best mistress for one of these girls is a kind and motherly 
person who keeps an orderly home on a very small income, 
and who superintends or takes part in all the work of her 

Women as Guardians of the Poor. 257 

house. For such places our girls go out much better prepared 
than formerly, having been taught the beginnings of cooking, 
washing, and housework, and having learnt also to take pride 
in their work. When they go out at about fourteen years of 
age there is still a margin of two years during which the 
guardians may, in case of failure, supplement their school 
training by training in some special Industrial Home. A 
visitor to one of our great schools ten or twelve years ago 
could not fail to be struck with the slouching, sullen look 
of the elder girls. That look has gone, and the children now 
will hold themselves straight and will look you in the face. 
The percentage of failures is now reckoned at 10 per cent. 

Women guardians are by no means indifferent to the 
training and the later career of boys brought up in their 
schools. A general brightening up has fallen to their lot 
also, with the natural results that they go into life active 
and independent, and that many are doing remarkably well. 
Mrs. Nassau Senior's unfavourable report on our schools 
gave an impetus to the movement for boarding-out orphan 
and deserted children in the families of working people. On 
January I, 1892, there were 1689 children under boarding- 
out committees outside of their own parish, and 3323 
boarded out by guardians within the parish. 

By the boarding-out system followed by London Boards 
of Guardians, agreements are entered into with committees 
certified by the Local Government Board, composed of 
ladies and gentlemen, people of known standing in the 
country, who select homes for the children with respectable 
working people, arrange the payments for their board and 
lodging, and make visits of inspection every few weeks, but 
not so as to destroy the authority or responsibility of the 
foster-parents. In a well-chosen home a child sent in 
infancy grows up as one of the family, and when the time 
comes for facing the world, he or she goes out not as an 
orphan, but as the children of good working people go. 
They can still turn for kindness to, and they will still 
receive guidance from, those who have cared for them and 
guided them so far. 

The question may still be asked, What is the special 
effect of the presence of women on a Board of Guardians ? 


258 Woman s Mission. 

I think the key-note of their work is struck in the view they 
take of women of low character. It is an absolute article in 
their creed that every one they see is a human being, fallen, 
perhaps, out of all knowledge from what he or she was 
created to be, but still a human being, and as such never to 
be insulted or degraded. They will not tolerate the coarse 
joking sometimes heard at Boards where women appear only 
as paupers, and where none are present as guardians. They 
lean towards strictness in discipline, and look for all means 
by which the able-bodied women may be either goaded or 
encouraged into an active and honest life. 

Here I should tell of an arrangement for their good 
adopted in at least three London workhouses. It must be 
evident that the leisure time after working hours will be a 
time of moral danger or distress according to the character 
of the women, as it is generally given up to idleness, and 
often to corrupting conversation. In the workhouses of 
Whitechapel, St. Pancras, and Kensington, this leisure time 
is brought into better use by a Mental Instructress, who for 
two hours in the evening has control over the day-room 
where the able-bodied women are. She teaches them to 
work, not necessarily for the workhouse, if they like to learn. 
She will read to them or talk with them. They are not 
compelled to listen or to work, but they are not allowed to 
interrupt. The effect at length is to draw them into an 
interest in what is going on, and at least it must put a check 
on a great deal of evil. As I write, I see the face of a 
woman reckoned among the able-bodied, but blind ; blinded 
by her husband, since dead, in a fit of temper. The Mental 
Instructress brought her the chance, for which she had 
been longing, of some employment for her hands. She 
has learnt to knit and even to turn the heel of a stocking, 
and with every little advance her face has brightened up, 
and the old dulness has been cheered away. 

It is said that the tendency of men is to generalize and 
of women to individualize. And it is sometimes supposed 
that women as guardians will nurse the babies in the nursery, 
be the special friends of the old patients in the infirmary 
wards, and the rescuers of the young women in the work- 
house who have fallen out of their places. They may desire 

Women as Guardians of the Poor. 259 

to do so, but where the numbers are very large it is impos- 
sible. Their first business is to see that the nurses and other 
officers are faithful and kind in their duty. They will not 
fail to bring in, or to uphold, voluntary workers, who will do 
more individual and friendly work than they can themselves. 
In many of our large workhouses there are Workhouse Girls' 
Aid Committees, who make it their business to search out 
every girl whom they can possibly help to make a better 
start, and in all their work they are greatly helped by the 
women guardians. They have to find many ways of help- 
ing, as differences of character are very great even here. 
Most of the young women seem careless and indifferent, and 
yet with higher influences and fresh hope they are often 
brought to amendment of life. 

About a year and a half ago, there came before a Board 
of Guardians a girl who belonged to a parish far away in the 
country, where for years she had been the slave of her 
father's vices. According to the strict letter of the law she 
ought to have been returned to her own parish. But this 
would have thrown her back inevitably into the old life. She 
was taken out by ladies and placed in a home where she 
quickly responded to every good influence, and where she 
spent what she called the happiest time of her life. In the 
course of a few months it became evident that she was hope- 
lessly consumptive, and she had to leave and to apply for 
admission into the parish infirmary. She was to be received 
in a few days, but while she was waiting, death came quite 
gently and set her free. This was certainly a case in which 
the individual interest of guardians co-operated with other 
workers, and wisely modified the regular course of the law. 

The more careful working of the poor law, and the closer 
observation of our workhouse inmates, have made us aware 
that considerable numbers, especially of the women, are feeble- 
minded ; not idiot or imbecile, but incapable of steadily con- 
trolling their actions. We are only at the beginning of a 
general movement, not a sensational one, but one which 
surely must not flag or die away, for the special care of 
women and girls of this class. The quickened pace of our 
industries, the higher standard of work, the greater demand 
on thought and energy, generally make it an imperative duty 

260 Woman s Mission. 

to consider those who cannot keep pace with the rest, and 
even at the cost of special effort to protect and control those 
who, if left to themselves, will fall a prey to evil men or to 
their own lower inclinations. Several small homes have 
been started and are still in their infancy, to receive such 
girls and employ them according to their capacity. 

No account of ameliorations in workhouse life would be 
complete without a few words about the Brabazon Employ- 
ment Scheme. In a paper called the Idle Room, Miss Blanche 
Medhurst says 

"The more lady guardians are admitted to workhouse 
Boards, the more wide awake will the women of England 
become as regards the needs of infirmary paupers. These 
needs may briefly be summed up in the word ' Employment.' 
The doctors and nurses are usually kind and thoroughly 
attentive to the inmates, who are neither ill-fed nor ill-treated ; 
that is, they are not ill-treated in any sensational manner so 
as to rouse public indignation. But the negative ill-treatment 
consists in this, that nothing is done to provide the crippled 
limbs and feeble minds with such slight occupation as could 
give interest to the ragged remnant of their broken lives, and 
bring out that best part which is to be found for the seeking, 
even in the worst of humanity." 

Of such the foundress of the Brabazon Employment 
Scheme (now Countess of Meath) wrote in 1882 

" Sad clusters of men and women may be seen, with 
hands lying idly before them, dreaming away precious weeks, 
months, years. Such an existence is not life. If it must be 
so designated, it is the life of the brute and not of the man. 
It is in the hope of coming to the aid of such persons that 
I would ask the permission of the Board of Guardians to 
give materials for providing some sort of light fancy-work 
for patients in infirmary wards who are at present wholly 
unemployed, or at most only partially employed. In no case 
would I wish to interfere with the labour of those who are 
already better engaged in doing the needful work of the 
institution. Netting, knitting, patchwork, wood-carving, is 
found to be the best kind of work for such light hand labour. 
Materials should be placed either in the hands of the nurses, 
or of sisters of the wards, whose duties are lightened when 

Women as Guardians of the Poor. 261 

this is permitted. But no help in such experiments is so 
valuable as that of the lady visitors." 

As might easily be imagined, such a scheme appeared 
fanciful to many Boards of Guardians and officials. During 
ten years Lady Brabazon's offer was accepted in only 
seventeen workhouses, but during the present year the 
number has risen to thirty. From several London parishes, 
from Manchester, Bradford, Coventry, from Tunbridge and 
other country parishes, come expressions of appreciation of 
the scheme. The doctor of the Tunbridge Workhouse says, 
" It has given new life to the old people. I have not half so 
much trouble with them, mentally or bodily." 

Before leaving this subject, I will quote two stories which 
speak for themselves. 

" For many years I was often a visitor of the union, and 
many and many a conversation I have had with its inmates, 
and well I remember one man whom I saw there and talked 
with. The strong men were at work in the garden, and some 
but little weaker were otherwise employed ; but this man sat 
in the sunshine doing nothing, but thinking and thinking, and 
piling up thought on thought, till, as he said, he felt as if he 
could think no longer. There was nothing he could do to 
employ his mind. He could not read, and so he sat about 
and thought. He said, ' One day is as another. I get up, 
I eat, and it gets dark, and then I soon go to bed ; and, sir, 
what is the use of a life like this? I want to be doing 
something I can think about, for this doing of nothing is 
dreadful. I cannot bear it much longer ! ' I was away for 
some months. The next time I went the mistress told me 
of a sad ending of an out-wearied life of ' nothing to do.' " 
The man had committed suicide. 

The next is a happier story, of a wretched, crippled 
woman, "who had been forty times in prison, and whose 
savage, evil nature and violent temper were the horror of all 
who vainly attempted to refine or reform her. She was 
simply gradually humanized by the influences of the har- 
monium services, and by the wholesome distraction of the light 
employment she was induced to try. I cannot soon forget 
the ring of earnestness in her voice as she wished God might 
bless Lady Brabazon ' for her good thought for such as me.' " 

262 Woman 's Mission. 

It will be clear that among women and children alone 
there is enough to occupy the mind and energy of any woman 
who serves as a guardian in a large parish or union, though 
she will certainly not confine her interest to them. 

But the first thing is to secure her election. It is very 
much to be regretted that in many parts of England general 
party politics are allowed to influence guardian elections, 
and rival lists of candidates are drawn up by the opposed 
political parties. But right-minded voters will ignore such 
considerations. They will consider first the welfare of the 
poor to be cared for. They will see that a Board without 
women will overlook many opportunities of good work. 
They will expect a woman-candidate to have given proof of 
her care for the poor in steady, quiet work for them ; and 
having found one whose work has commended itself to their 
judgment, they will exert themselves on her behalf until she 
is elected, and will renew their political activities at another 
and more suitable time. 

When elected, she will find much to learn. She will 
respect the great system of legal relief which she is to help 
to work out She will appreciate the practical common sense 
and business habits of some among her colleagues, and will 
keep an open mind to learn even from those whom she may 
think narrow, ignorant and self-seeking. She will not shirk 
duties connected with contracts or general business, though 
other duties may be more congenial to her. She will learn 
her work in patience, and in patience she will do it ; remem- 
bering that even the best ideas cannot be pushed by main 
force. They cannot be carried without the co-operation of 
her colleagues, who may suspect her for a time of being viewy 
and fanciful. " He that believeth shall not make haste." She 
believes, and watches and waits until her opportunity comes, 
and gradually she will neither know nor care much who 
brought in the best ideas, or who did the best work, she 
will so fully realize that her best work is not merely her 
individual work, but the work of the body of which she is a 
member, and that if she does her work well, the ideas of that 
body will become larger. 

There is no definite piece of work for which it is so much 
worth while to be a guardian as that of the election of officers. 

Women as Guardians of the Poor. 263 

Opportunities are sure to come, when if possible the staff 
should be improved, or at least not suffered to fall back. 
There is no Board of Guardians that can secure good adminis- 
tration without good officers. The Board may pass resolu- 
tions, but the officers have to carry them out. It is therefore 
of the greatest importance to secure officers who will work 
faithfully ; and when appointed, they should be assured of 
just consideration and encouragement. The women officers 
of a Board at least will look for this from women guardians, 
and they will know that their work and their difficulties can 
best be understood by them. 

It generally happens that when women are on a Board of 
Guardians an interest in their work is awakened among all 
the more helpful kind of people in the neighbourhood, and 
a healthy public opinion is felt to be playing upon our 

During the last two or three years there have been louder 
and louder demands for a reform of the poor law, and it has 
been said that the reformed law of 1834 is now quite out of 
date. It might do more good if in every place the guardian 
elections were followed with closer interest, if in every place 
the ratepayers insisted upon an intelligent and large-minded 
interpretation of the law. At one time it was thought that 
inferior nursing was good enough for sick paupers, that inferior 
teaching was good enough for pauper children. It is now 
becoming increasingly recognized that cheap nursing and 
cheap teaching are not economical, that the most economical 
work is that which is best adapted to its purpose. It is for 
the ratepayers in every parish to decide whether they will 
keep to the old ideas of economy, or move forward to the 
new ; whether they will merely house, feed, and clothe, those 
dependent on them, or whether they will use every human 
means to restore the sick to health ; whether they will train 
the children in their care both in body and mind for an inde- 
pendent life, and whether they will take a just and considerate 
view of what is due to the aged and infirm. It is true that 
much larger sums are expended on our schools and on our 
infirmaries than formerly, but the administration of relief must 
be considered as a whole. A more efficient treatment can 
hardly be called extravagant when it is remembered that in 

264 Woman s Mission. 

the year ending March 25, 1832, with a population of 
14,000,000, poor-law relief in England and Wales amounted 
to ^"7,036,968 ; whereas in 1891, with a population of 
28,762,287, it amounted to no more than 8,643,318. Too 
many voters have thought that the first object of a guardian 
was to save money. The first object of the law is to relieve 
destitution, and to do this in such a manner as not to spread 
and aggravate the evil ; for it must be remembered that the 
influence of a Board of Guardians extends far beyond its 
actual work. It is the law of the land that none shall be 
suffered to perish of hunger. It is but fair and just to honest 
men and women that life should be made irksome and painful 
to those who wilfully take advantage of that law. There must 
be severity towards such as these. But they are only one 
class. Among the many who come under the care of 
guardians are those who still have a good conscience, though 
they have lost all besides. They have done their day's work, 
have brought up children, have battled with the world, have 
endured hardness and want, and at last they must needs 
burden the parish and accept its support with as good a grace 
as they can. For the many kinds and characters to be dealt 
with, a true guardian of the poor must be ever wakeful to 
secure the chance of reinstatement wherever it can be given, 
but in any case to secure justice for every one. 



IT is not an easy task to write the history of a movement 
that has been carried on in various ways and with varying 
success during a period of forty years ; but as I am asked to 
give some account of what has been accomplished, I will 
endeavour to do so, believing that I am perhaps the only one 
remaining of the first small body of " reformers " in the cause 
of workhouse management. 

In 1850 a pamphlet on this subject was written by two 
ladies, Mrs. May and Mrs. Archer, and it was the first 
publication that turned my attention to it. The pamphlet 
was called "A Plan for rendering the Union Poorhouses 
National Houses of Mercy ; " and I may add that the same 
plea is now again being urged by the Countess of Meath 
and myself. 

But there was an even earlier effort than this, which must 
not be forgotten. One hundred years before, a now well- 
nigh forgotten philanthropist, Jonas Hanway, born in 1712, 
was led to consider the sad state of the infant parish poor. 
He even travelled through Europe (no easy matter in those 
days) to ascertain what was done in other countries, and on 
his return published the results of his investigations. The 
workhouse of St. Clement Danes in the Strand is particu- 
larly named in relation to this matter, and I may mention 
the coincidence that it was in this very Strand Union that 
my investigations and visits were first carried on. In 1761, 
Hanway, after ten years of toil and unceasing work, obtained 
an act for regulating the treatment of parish children. It 
forbade their being kept in the workhouses ; all were to 

266 Woman s Mission. 

be sent into the country to be nursed till six years old ; 
and there is no doubt that thousands of lives were thus 
preserved. In 1855 a volume of "Practical Lectures to 
Ladies" was published, containing one by the Rev. J. S. 
Brewer on "Workhouse Visiting," which showed that con- 
sideration for the poor inmates was beginning to be felt. 

In 1853, through interest in a respectable old woman, 
whom I had long visited in her little room (which she was 
obliged to give up for the workhouse, her eyesight failing her 
for needlework), I was led to follow her into her dreaded re- 
treat ; and from that day, now forty years ago, my interest in 
and desire to help the inmates may be dated, and has never 
since ceased. Their utter loneliness, their prison-like separation 
from the outer world, was the first thing that struck me ; for 
I learnt that no one was allowed to enter, except the friends 
and relations on certain fixed days, and there were, of course, 
many poor lonely creatures who had neither relation nor 
friend. There were at least five hundred inmates in that 
one workhouse, of every class and description, and of all 
ages ; no separation of classes being then made. I obtained 
permission to visit when I liked, but my endeavours to 
extend this privilege to other ladies, when referred to the 
Board of Guardians, consisting of local tradesmen, were 
unsuccessful. The Central (then the Poor Law) Board having 
been consulted, it was decided that there could be no giving 
way to such an innovation as was proposed, which threatened 
to overthrow " the discipline of the workhouse " and perhaps 
create a revolution ! A subsequent application from myself 
was " reluctantly declined," as " forming an inconvenient pre- 
cedent ; " a phrase we are all familiar with, in connection with 
suggested reforms ! I may here quote from a little book of 
my "Recollections," published in 1880: "The plan was 
thus stopped for a time, but not relinquished ; and the 
individual visits were continued by which much knowledge 
was acquired of the internal arrangements of the workhouse, 
and of the many cruel and unknown miseries which were 
inflicted on the inmates. For what could the best of matrons 
effect for good or comfort, when she was the sole woman 
in authority over that vast household, with literally no helper 
or assistant but pauper women ? " 

The History of Workhouse Reform. 267 

In the following year, 1854, another effort was made, and 
a personal interview was granted by the President and Secre- 
tary of the Poor Law Board, when a kind promise was given 
that, if the plan were carried on quietly, no objection would 
be made. So by degrees, some friends being enlisted in the 
work and others becoming interested in it, the visiting system 
gradually extended. There was one visitor for every ward for 
many years (until, indeed, the removal of the old workhouse) 
both on week-days and Sundays ; with tea-parties at Christ- 
mas, in which the whole staff of visitors, ladies and gentlemen, 

In 1857 I was induced to send a letter to the Guardian, 
a weekly high-class Church newspaper, with some remarks 
and suggestions concerning " Homes for the Aged Poor ; " 
and this was the beginning of a long-continued correspond- 
ence. These letters were republished in 1857 as a pamphlet, 
called " Metropolitan Workhouses and their Inmates ; " one 
other having already appeared in 1855, with the title, "A 
Few Words about the Inmates of our Workhouses." 

In 1858 Mrs. G. W. Sheppard, of Frome, wrote a pamphlet, 
"Sunshine in the Workhouse," and in the following year, 
" Christmas Eve in a Workhouse ; " both of which helped to 
bring the forgotten inmates, who were indeed " out of mind " 
as well as " out of sight," to the notice of the outer world. 

In 1857 a young nobleman, Lord Raynham, was led to 
consider the subject, in consequence of the disclosures that 
had been made public. He brought forward a motion in 
the House of Commons, that a Select Committee should be 
appointed to inquire into the condition and administration of 
Metropolitan workhouses ; referring to the state of St. Pan- 
eras Workhouse (one of the largest in London), where an 
investigation had just been made, resulting in a verdict of 
" horrible " from one of the first of London physicians. But 
though the motion was well supported, after an "official" 
reply from the President of the Poor Law Board, it was lost. 
Four years after this apparent failure, the very Committee 
then asked for was appointed ; and exactly ten years later, 
in 1867, the result appeared in the Bill introduced by Mr. 
Gathorne Hardy (now Lord Cranbrook) and subsequently 
passed. By this grand effort the Metropolitan infirmaries 

268 Woman 's Mission. 

for the sick were entirely separated from the workhouses, and 
placed under the management of other officers. In 1858 
I wrote a long article in the Church of England Monthly 
Review on "Workhouses and Women's Work," afterwards 
published as a pamphlet, which was widely reviewed by the 
daily press. Other movements were going on. In 1855 the 
matter of training nurses was brought before the Epidemiolo- 
gical Society of London by an eminent physician, Dr. Edward 
Sieveking, who proposed that the able-bodied women in 
workhouses should be thus made useful; and in 1858 a cir- 
cular of the Poor Law Board sanctioned the plan, which, I 
may say here, was never found practicable, owing to the 
generally degraded character and antecedents of this class. 
In connection with this part of our subject, I may add the 
satisfactory information, that the idea thus started has taken, 
since 1879, a practical and entirely successful form in the 
formation of the "Workhouse Infirmary Nursing Associa- 
tion," which has now one hundred and thirty nurses at work 
throughout the country, many of them trained by the funds 
of the association ; the demand for the nurses being beyond 
the number that can be supplied. 

In 1857 a great step was made by a proposal to form 
a central society for the promotion of workhouse visiting. 
This suggestion was brought forward at the first meeting of 
the " Social Science Association," which met at Birmingham ; 
when I contributed a paper in the department of social 
economy on the " Condition of Workhouses " the first, I 
believe, that had ever come before the public. The plan was 
afterwards developed in London, under the presidency of the 
Hon. Wm. Cowper (afterwards Lord Mount-Temple), and a 
large and influential committee of men and women was 
formed, I being the honorary secretary. Its rules and objects 
were : I. The care of children, and their after-care as well 
(a plan now largely developed). 2. For the sick and afflicted. 
3. For the ignorant and depraved, their instruction, and the en- 
couragement of useful occupation. Thus the seeds were sown 
for many subsequent developments ; one of which, in con- 
nection with the last-named object, is the " Brabazon " scheme 
for providing work and suitable occupation for both men and 
women who are unable to assist in the regular work for the 

The History of Workhouse Reform. 269 

house. This scheme is now being increasingly adopted in 
many workhouses in London and the country, its origin being 
due to Lady Meath, who has the satisfaction of seeing her 
scheme now carried out in America as well as at home. 

In the year 1859 another departure was made by the 
publication of a periodical called the Journal of the Workhouse 
Visiting Society, which at first appeared every two months, 
and then quarterly. Much useful information was thus 
distributed, and the plan was continued till 1865, when it 
was felt it had done its useful work of enlightenment, and it 
ceased. In this periodical may be found the suggestion of 
nearly every movement now being carried out. The first 
meeting of the society was held in 1859, "the first occasion 
on which the claims of workhouse inmates on the sympathy 
of the public have been advocated," as was said at the time. 
Two bishops and many influential clergymen and laymen 
spoke, to advocate the cause. A committee of visitors was 
formed for one of the City workhouses, under the auspices 
of the Lady Mayoress, and in 1 860 one was appointed also 
for St. Pancras Workhouse. 

In 1862 a Bill was carried through Parliament chiefly 
owing to the exertions of the Hon. Mrs. Way, who had 
already established a school for pauper girls in Surrey 
establishing the legality of payments by the guardians to 
homes certified by the Central Board. The rescue of children 
and girls from the contamination of pauper intercourse was 
the first object to engage the attention of visitors ; with the 
result that a home was opened in London for girls who 
returned to the workhouse after being sent to service. This 
was done in 1861, under an influential committee, of which 
the Baroness Burdett-Coutts was one, while she generously 
furnished the house and paid the rent during three years. 
The management devolved upon me, and for many years 
I lived almost entirely at the home, into which thirty girls 
could be taken. I may mention here that this home was 
carried on till 1878, when the house was taken for the remaining 
years of the lease by a committee of ladies who were beginning 
to carry out the plans of Mrs. Nassau Senior, appointed in 
1875 as the first Woman Inspector under the Poor Law 
Board, for the schools. This was the starting-point of the 

270 Woman's Mission. 

now widely extended Metropolitan Association for Befriend- 
ing Young Servants, numbering thousands, under the care 
of a large staff of visitors, and with homes also. Many 
hundreds of girls may be said to have been saved from ruin 
during the twenty years' work of this association. 

In 1860 a Commission was appointed to consider the state 
of education in England ; and as pauper schools were included, 
I was asked to give evidence about them. The two chief 
points I dwelt upon as evils were the want of industrial 
training for girls, and the herding of them together in masses. 
Both evils have been largely done away with since by means 
of boarding-out children (begun in 1870, and suggested in our 
Journal in 1864), and by cottage homes, started by voluntary 
effort, and certified by the Local Government Board. An 
association to promote this last plan was begun in 1891.* 

In 1860 attention was drawn to the condition of incurables 
in workhouses by Miss Frances Power Cobbe, who had visited 
the workhouse at Bristol and had become acquainted with 
the sadly defective care of them. She wrote a paper called 
" A Plea for Destitute Incurables," which was read at a Social 
Science Congress at Glasgow, and afterwards brought before 
the Central Board. A petition was framed, signed by ninety 
of the leading physicians and surgeons of the London hospitals, 
asking permission to give voluntary aid to such sufferers (of 
whom there were supposed to be 80,000 in the workhouses) 
by means of trained nurses ; comforts and appliances suitable 
to their sad condition being supplied from a central fund. 
Seven Boards of Guardians consented to try the plan, and it 
was carried on for two years ; but after that time objection 
was urged that it was illegal, and contrary to the intentions of 
the poor law. In 1865 a deputation of the Workhouse Visiting 
Society waited upon the President of the Poor Law Board 
(Mr. Villiers) with a statement and petition as to the general 
condition of the sick in workhouse infirmaries. Two meetings, 
attended by twenty-one members of Parliament and medical 
men, were held at Mrs. Gladstone's house to arrange this matter. 
This effort cannot be said to have been a failure, considering 
the great results that have followed from its endeavours and 

* At the present time Miss Mason is acting as Inspector, under the Local 
Government Board, of all children boarded-out. 

The History of Workhouse Reform. 271 

example. The petition is remarkable for embodying all 
subsequent reforms, but it is too long to be given here. The 
admission of additional medical men and students into 
poor-law institutions was then urged, and is still earnestly 
desired. Of the gentlemen who formed that deputation 
only two are now living. Impressed by the needs of sick 
paupers, it was decided to take a house adjoining the Girls' 
Industrial Home for the reception of incurable women, chiefly, 
and in the first instance, from workhouses, their cost (as in 
the workhouse) being paid by the guardians, as in the case 
of the girls. This plan was successfully carried on for 
twenty-eight years, but owing to the improvements in the 
London infirmaries, their inmates ceased, after a time, to be 

An inquiry was also instituted as to the number of paid 
nurses employed in workhouses ; in most of which, it was 
found, there were only paupers to attend the sick. 

In 1861 another Parliamentary Commission was appointed, 
at which much valuable evidence was given. Other Com- 
mittees followed in 1888 and 1891. Among the earlier 
efforts must be named a letter to the Times, written by 
me in 1858 on Workhouse Nurses. Then followed in 1866 
the " Lancet Commission," carried out by the editors of that 
paper, for an investigation into all matters connected with the 
sick in workhouses. It was well said that this and many 
other endeavours to expose very grave evils were but 
following up the efforts of private persons ; public opinion 
and the press supplying a force that compelled official 
action, "the foremost banners being borne by private 

In 1867 Mr. Villiers acknowledged to a deputation that 
"a case had been made out," and although he left office 
before a bill could be prepared, one was carried through by 
his successor, Mr. Gathorne Hardy. The separation of the 
various classes of workhouse inmates was one of the chief 
features of this bill ; and though it is not even now entirely 
carried out, children and the sick were removed from the 
" workhouse," so called, as well as lunatics, the imbecile, and 
all infectious cases. Of these latter classes the Metropolitan 
Asylums Board, a body formed from the guardians of the 

272 Woman s Mission. 

various unions represented, has taken charge. Its labours 
are on a truly gigantic scale. 

The first grand reform in the management of the sick 
was begun at Liverpool, when, in 1865, Agnes Jones, a 
devoted lady and highly trained nurse, was appointed, in the 
enormous workhouse of 1200 inmates, as superintendent of 
the infirmary. A second such appointment was made at 
the Sick Asylum, Highgate, when Miss Hill, one of the 
Nightingale Nurses of St. Thomas' Hospital, went there in 
1870. These were the first instances of educated and trained 
women taking such posts. 

During the last few years women acting as guardians of 
the poor have aided the work of reform in no small degree, 
and by an increase in their number, year by year, we look 
forward to still further progress in the right direction. The 
first of these ladies was elected in the parish of Kensington 
in the year 1875 ; and now about one hundred and thirty 
women are acting as guardians of the poor in England, 
Wales, and Scotland. 

I have now completed my sketch, but the full extent of 
all that has been accomplished can only be known to those 
who were eye-witnesses of a state of things now happily 
passed away. 

In conclusion, may I be allowed to point out the moral 
of this history, which may be commended to all who are 
engaged in any similar work and undertaking ? It is com- 
prised in three words Patience, Perseverance, and Faith. 





To give a bird's-eye view of the philanthropic work now 
being done by the women of Great Britain is indeed difficult, 
not only on account of its amount and variety, but from the 
absence of any system or organization pervading it. 

Unlike the Frauen-Verein of the Continent, outlined some 
ten years ago by our own Royal Princesses, the Empress 
Frederick of Germany and the late Princess Alice of Hesse- 
Darmstadt (an outline since nobly filled in by thousands of 
German women), any organization that exists in England 
has followed upon work already done, rather than preceded 
work. It has been more of the nature of growth ; a sort of 
spontaneous generation rather than the completion of an 
arbitrary model. 

The first sign of a desire among women to appropriate 
the advantage of united action in works of beneficence was 
given by the Sisterhood Movement about 1850; when Miss 
Sellon, the Hon. Mrs. Monsell, and others sought to gather 
women into religious community life in the first instance 
for definite training, and afterwards for associated work 
among the poor. 

This example was followed in 1861 by the revival of the 
Primitive Order of Deaconesses by Deaconess Catharine 
Ferard, who had studied the subject at Kaiserwerth; and 
within the last few years similar efforts to secure trained 
and organized work in nursing, teaching, and the general 
amelioration of the poor, have been made by the " Sisters of 
the People," and by branches of other Nonconformist bodies. 
Of a less definitely religious but equally earnest type are the 


274 Womaais Mission. 

" Women's Settlements," which are colonies of educated 
women, principally students from colleges, who make their 
homes in crowded city-quarters to minister to the needs of 
the populace. 

The next sign that individual women were becoming 
alive to the heightened value which would accrue to their 
own work, by association with others, was the formation in 
1866 of a society for the express purpose of affording a 
centre for the rapidly increasing number of institutions which 
were being started at the time. It took the somewhat 
ambitious title of " The National Central Office," and aimed 
at being "a focus to which all societies for the benefit of 
women and girls of good character in Great Britain and 
Ireland could be drawn and placed in union with each 
other." In 1869 it had affiliated about eighty institutions, 
and, curiously enough, that has remained about the yearly 
average ever since. Its pretensions to be both national and 
central were dropped a few years afterwards for the humbler 
title of the " Society for Promoting Female Welfare by the 
United Working of Institutions for the benefit of Women 
and Girls," and under this name it has done a very useful 
work ever since. It published in 1869 a tabular report of its 
affiliated institutions. That this society, valuable as has been 
its career, has not completely fulfilled its early promise, is 
probably caused by the fact that it required assurances from 
all affiliated institutions that they were conducted " strictly 
upon scriptural and Protestant principles," and partly also 
from the natural insularity of the British mind. 

The next examples of gradually aroused organizing power 
are to be found in the early history of the Girls' Friendly 
Society, the Women's Help Society, the Metropolitan Asso- 
ciation for Befriending Young Servants, the numerous Girls' 
Clubs with their centre in Soho, London, and all the com- 
plicated machinery and apparatus of candidates, members, 
associates, branches, presidents, lodges, homes of rest, lending 
libraries, coffee- taverns, penny banks, free registries, con- 
valescent and training homes, besides monthly and weekly 
magazines, and a whole flood of literature of all kinds, suited 
to almost every age and condition of womanhood and girl- 
hood. These societies number many thousands of English 

The Organization of Women Workers. 275 

girls and women, not only in Great Britain and her colonies, 
but all over the Continent, in America, and, indeed, in all 
quarters of the globe. Untold is the good thus accom- 
plished ; but if the merits of a society are greater in propor- 
tion to the greater simplicity of machinery, the palm must be 
given to the Young Women's Christian Association, which, 
with little or no organization beyond the Prayer Union, out of 
which it originally started, also keeps an oversight of many 
thousands of young women in many different parts of the 
world. To it also belongs the honour of having worked out 
most efficiently one of the earliest forms of the " Travellers' 
Aid Society ; " a provision for the safety and protection of 
young Englishwomen travelling alone in their own country 
or abroad. 

Emigration naturally rises to one's mind in this connec- 
tion ; and it is significant of the zeal of the educated and 
leisured women of England that, even in this direction of 
much enterprise and difficulty, they have not been content 
with working in the channels created by men, but have 
elaborated an agency of their own for the protection and 
assistance of female emigrants. They may, indeed, be said 
to have taken the initiative in this direction ; as a society for 
providing matrons to female emigrant ships was founded in 
1859, and only closed its career of usefulness in 1877, when 
Her Majesty's Government followed its lead, and, by supply- 
ing matrons as Government officials, paid the society that 
sincerest form of flattery known as imitation. The United 
British Women's Emigration Association, formed with the 
same object in view, viz. to provide for the safety and welfare 
of women and girl emigrants, has an " Emigrants' Rest " for 
women only, in Liverpool ; and by the activity and zeal of 
its vice-president, who herself travels and organizes on its 
behalf, the devotion of its honorary secretaries, and the excel- 
lence of its organization, has done more to settle the vexed 
question of female emigration than any other association. 

The word " united " is beginning to creep into the vocabu- 
lary of the English worker, and is a sign that more women, 
either as individuals or societies, are beginning to realize the 
fact that " union is strength." The motto has indeed been 
adopted by the most important thrift society at present 

276 Woman's Mission. 

existing for women. The " United Sisters' Friendly Society," 
which, although it cannot claim to have been founded by 
women (that honour belonging to their good friend, the 
Rev. Frome Wilkinson), is yet almost exclusively managed 
by them. 

Neither in medicine, nursing, education, nor reformation 
and rescue work, do women owe their present position in any 
special way to organization. The pioneer medical women of 
twenty years ago got their diplomas in America and Paris, 
and there is no present bond of union among the hundred 
and forty registered medical women in England, beyond the 
medical diploma which they hold in common with men. 
Nurses are to all intents and purposes, a new creation ; and 
though the last few years have seen a wonderful rise in the 
estimation in which they are held by the public, and though 
the sum of ; 120,000 stands to the credit of their "Royal 
National Pension Fund," they do not seem to have availed 
themselves very eagerly of even the slight degree of free- 
masonry involved by becoming subscribers to it. Those 
nurses who are also midwives, on the other hand, have sown 
a seed which may in the future develop into a large and 
flourishing association. In the " Midwives' Institute and 
Trained Nurses' Club," at 12, Buckingham Street, Strand, 
to which all are eligible who have passed the examination 
of the Obstetrical Society of London, they possess both a 
centre and a registry, which will be of great service to them 
when the Bill for the Registration of Midwives, shortly to be 
presented to Parliament, shall have become law. 

But although the professional side of nursing has not 
been highly organized, several large and important societies 
exist for gratuitously nursing the sick poor of the land. The 
first organization of this kind was formed at Liverpool in 
1859, and the system of district nursing then created has 
been adopted, with modifications suitable to the locality, in 
many great towns. The Central Home of the Metropolitan 
and National Nursing Association of London was opened in 
1875, and the Royal Hospital of St. Katherine, founded as 
far back as 1148, was revived by its connection with the 
Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute of the present reign. The 
members [of these, together with the members of the two 

The Organization of Women Workers. 277 

large societies, the Rural Nursing Association, now merged 
into the Jubilee Institute, and the Cottage Nurses' Associa- 
tion, increase in numbers every year. 

The organizations founded by Englishwomen about the 
year 1870 for raising the standard of their education, such as 
the National Union for Improving the Education of Women, 
the Yorkshire Ladies' Council of Education, and many other 
local societies founded for the same object, have more or less 
accomplished their purpose, and some have voluntarily dis- 
solved themselves. The Girls' Public Day School Company 
and the Church Schools' Company, although managed in 
conjunction with men, are practically the result of women's 
initiative ; while the Teachers' Guild, though admitting men 
as well as women, is really a women's society, the first 
scheme for its formation having appeared in that essentially 
women's magazine, Work and Leisure. The Association of 
Head-Mistresses and Assistant-Mistresses of Public Schools, 
the Governess Association in Ireland, and Association of 
University Teachers, are the only existing organizations 
confined to women teachers. Their addresses, as well as those 
of all other associations named in this article, will be found 
in the directory of the "Englishwomen's Year Book." 

In penitentiary and rescue work, the associations and 
larger institutions have all been organized and officered by 
men, although, in a few, women are members of the com- 
mittees of management. As a rule, the agents working 
directly with the outcast populations are females, but the 
secretaries are all men. The noble work of Miss Steer, Mrs. 
Wilkes, and other women are no exception ; as" even in the 
case of Miss Steer's numerous homes they are the result of 
individual and not associated effort. 

The Christian Women's Union, founded on their return 
from the States, by those indefatigable sisters, Mrs. Meredith 
and Miss Lloyd, also the foundresses of the Industrial Colony 
and Homes entitled the " Princess Mary's Homes" at Addle- 
stone, may, however, be reckoned one organized effort for 
Christian work and education ; and in the Social Purity 
Alliance, the Moral Reform Union, the Vigilance Association, 
and the numerous associations for social purposes, women 
are largely engaged either alone or in conjunction with men. 

278 Woman's Mission. 

For the hundreds of Preventive and Rescue Homes, In- 
dustrial Schools, Convalescent Homes, and Homes of Rest, 
the women of England seem to be almost exclusively re- 
sponsible. Here and there men act as treasurers, visitors, 
or members of committee, and chaplains and medical officers 
are, of course, of the nobler sex ; but the whole army of 
"mothers," matrons, trainers, teachers, etc., are all women, 
and it may safely be predicted that these homes have received 
their first impulse from woman, and could not now be carried 
on without her. 

In social questions, and especially in dealing with that 
great and terrible evil, intemperance, women have been at 
work for at least thirty years in local guilds, bands, unions, 
and other efforts of all kinds and in all places, for the repres- 
sion of drunkenness and the inculcation of temperance and 
total abstinence. One of the largest organizations is the 
women's branch of the Church of England Temperance 
Society ; and there are other powerful agencies for good, 
especially the British Women's Temperance Association, the 
United Kingdom Band of Hope Union, etc. 

In charities pure and simple, women are working both as 
individuals and in association in very large numbers, while 
in organized and regulated charity, the "Working Ladies' 
Guild " for the relief of destitute gentlewomen, administered 
by "groups" of ladies in different localities, with H.R.H. the 
Princess Beatrice as their Patroness, and H.R.H. the Princess 
Frederica of Pawel-Rammagen as the head of one of the 
"groups," may well take the lead. The Ministering Chil- 
dren's League, founded by the Countess of Meath, has also 
a powerful and far-reaching organization. 

The two most striking examples of united work among 
Englishwomen, and those of most recent and speediest 
growth, are, however, the Mothers' Union Movement, and 
the Needlework Guilds founded by Lady Wolverton. 

The Mothers' Union is almost exclusively worked on 
Church lines, though mothers' meetings, out of which the 
Union more or less arose, are common to every religious 
body. There are diocesan unions in almost every diocese 
in England and Wales ; but Scotland is worked by districts, 
and some localities parochially. At Birmingham, for in- 

The Organization of Women Workers. 279 

stance, returns are sent in parochially by branches in con- 
nection with Nonconformist congregations, equally with 
Church workers, to the diocesan centre, of which the wife 
of the Bishop is the President. 

In the direction of technical education and the classes 
for arts and handicrafts, which appear likely in future to 
form part of the educational system established by the law 
of the land, women have been not only pioneers but organ- 
izers. The Cookery School in Kensington, the Laundry 
Schools grafted upon cookery and other domestic arts in 
Liverpool, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, the numerous local 
societies for the same purposes in the Midlands, now known 
as the "National Union for the Technical Education of 
Women in the Domestic Sciences," were all founded, drafted, 
and carried on to their present stage by women. In count- 
less other benevolent experiments for befriending the work- 
ing and artisan class, such as the society for bringing beauty 
into their homes, the Recreative Evening Association, the 
Happy Afternoons Society for teaching games to the Board 
School children, the numerous guilds for writing letters, 
supplying amusements to the friendless or the aged in 
workhouses, in ways too numerous to mention, English- 
women have been devoting their time, their means, yea, their 
very selves, to the ministry of others. By rent-collecting they 
have worked a reformation in the crowded rookeries of the 
poorer populations of our cities, and through the medium of 
the " College by Post " highly cultivated girls have initiated 
a system of intellectual tuition which is raising thousands 
of their less-favoured sisters to a standard of education which, 
unassisted, they could never have hoped to attain. 

That Englishwomen possess the faculty for organization 
is further shown by the extraordinary success of the Needle- 
work Guild, which, conducted on the simple plan of " circles " 
(one worker undertaking to find five others, each willing to 
supply two garments yearly), last year accumulated no less 
than 14,040 articles. The punctuality, precision, and method 
required to create and collect the gigantic heaps of carefully 
sorted garments which were on view last November in the 
palatial precincts of the new Imperial Institute, strikingly 
illustrated the business power of ladies, belonging in a 

280 Woman's Mission. 

great measure to the " upper ten thousand " of Great 

The Parents' National Educational Union is, perhaps, the 
exception which proves the rule ; for the remarkable way in 
which parents of both sexes have been willing to listen to 
lectures on the subject of bringing up their children, and to 
appropriate the hints of Miss Charlotte Mason, the enthusiastic 
educationalist, whose name is probably not unknown in 
Chicago, would seem to falsify the statement that organization 
is unknown in Englishwomen's work. Perhaps only a spinster 
without a mother's natural prejudices and predilections in 
favour of her offspring and her educational methods, could 
possibly hold a position sufficiently independent to be listened 
to as she has been. 

In the Royal School of Art Needlework, which arose 
from the twofold desire of its distinguished foundress, Lady 
Welby, to revive a lost and beautiful art, while also minister- 
ing to the needs of reduced gentlewomen, and in many 
similar efforts both in London and the provinces, English- 
women have shown that they can organize and carry to 
successful issues enterprises combining sound commercial 
principles with the tenderest philanthropy. Classes for the 
instruction of village lads in wood-carving, beaten brass work, 
and other profitable and educational arts, have been started 
simultaneously by voluntary workers, of whom the majority 
are women, throughout the United Kingdom ; and they will 
be ready to avail themselves of State assistance when the 
County Councils and the Art and Education Departments 
of the Government have completed their schemes of aid. 

It will be obvious from what has been said so far that 
although the women workers of Great Britain, as a rule, work 
first and organize afterwards, they have largely availed them- 
selves of the organizations which in this old country of Eng- 
land lie ready to their hands. The Mothers' Union, the 
Girls' Friendly Society, and the Women's Help Society have 
fitted their machinery into the framework of the Established 
Church. The Metropolitan Association for Befriending 
Young Servants avails itself of the organization of the Local 
Government Board ; and the associations for the care of girls 
associations scattered throughout the provinces are the 

The Organization of Women Workers. 281 

counterparts of the M.A.B.Y.S., as the name of the last- 
mentioned society is abbreviated, plus committees of 

Workers in prisons and at prison gates place themselves 
at the disposal of the magistrates and the governors of the 
gaols. Women's work among soldiers builds homes close 
to the barracks, and Miss Weston is almost as well known by 
sailors in Her Majesty's men-of-war and the Merchant Service 
as their own log-book. The Workhouse Visiting and Infirmary 
Nursing Societies adopt the divisions of the Local Govern- 
ment Board, and carry on their work upon the lines and 
districts of the County Unions ; while the Women's Liberal 
Societies, the only ones conducted exclusively by women, 
also naturally work upon the Parliamentary divisions of the 

It might be thought that no chain could be light enough, 
and no centre comprehensive enough, to hold together even 
in the slightest of relations, so numerous, so heterogeneous 
so independent a mass of institutions as are maintained by 
the women of Great Britain for the benefit of their kind. 
There seems, however, a prospect that from the annual 
conferences of women workers which have arisen out of the 
local unions lately formed in so many districts, may sound 
forth the key-note that shall resolve these many changing 
chords into one harmonious anthem of " Peace upon earth, 
and good will to men." At Bristol, in November, 1892, all 
doubts as to the permanent success likely to attend these 
conferences were finally set at rest. The reports of the 
papers and speeches delivered at Barnsley, Birmingham, 
Liverpool, and Bristol will satisfy any reader that the time 
is ripe for the foundation of "The National Union of 
Women Workers." This union now offers that focus at the 
centre, and that medium for communication and fellowship 
at the circumference, the need of which has been so greatly 
felt since the number both of workers and of institutions 
has so largely increased. In future, with its annual con- 
ferences, its Metropolitan Central Bureau, local unions, branch 
offices, and corresponding members scattered throughout Great 
Britain, the C.C.C. (as from the name of its executive, the 
Central Conference Council, it is familiarly called) will afford 

282 Woman's Mission. 

the happiest and simplest organization for the encouragement 
and assistance of individual effort that can be imagined. This 
paper cannot be more fitly closed than by quoting the answer 
of its foundress and honorary organizing secretary, Miss 
Janes, in answer to the question, " What do you expect will 
be the immediate outcome of these conferences ? " and, I also 
may add, practically the whole question of united organized 
effort among the women of Great Britain and her colonies. 
She says, " Hearts have been quickened, prejudices removed, 
good methods described, a high standard fearlessly proclaimed 
and warmly assented to, vision widened, insight deepened. 
We have found how true a harmony may exist between those 
who differ, where there is a real desire to see truth and follow 
it ; we have learned how ' in quietness and in confidence ' our 
strength lies ; we have felt the influence of the spirit of 
wisdom and of love. We have met friends face to face, we 
have had our hearts stirred within us as they have reasoned 
of righteousness, temperance, and the judgment which will 
surely come if we omit to build the life of home, and country, 
on the only sure foundation. We have come a step nearer 
to our desired end the realization of our solidarity the 
greater economy of our forces through more united plans of 
action, the truer understanding of causes, and the better 
adjustment of means to ends." 

The choice of subjects discussed at these conferences will 
of itself be an indication of their practical nature, and of the 
earnest spirit in which their promoters applied themselves to 
their task. 

Some sixty-three papers have been read at the four con- 
ferences held in 1889 at Barnsley, in 1890 at Birmingham, in 
1891 at Liverpool, and in 1892 at Bristol; and they were 
listened to with unflagging interest by many thousands of 
women, while perhaps some hundred women speakers took 
part in the after discussions. Verbatim reports of all the 
proceedings have been largely sold that of the Birmingham 
Conference being still in request, so that reprints have been 
required. This may be in part owing to the valuable 
appendix, which gives the titles, prices, and publishers of 
over seventy publications bearing on the subjects which had 
been under discussion. 

The Organization of Women Workers. 283 

At the last three conferences an especial meeting has 
been devoted to subjects of interest and suitability to young 
girls ; and the number of the audiences at the " Young Ladies' 
Meetings " has only been limited by the size of the room 
600 and 700 at Birmingham and Liverpool, and 1500 at 

At Liverpool the novel feature of a " Working Women's 
Meeting" was introduced with great success. The hall, 
holding 1500 persons, was crowded to excess. Addresses 
were given by the wife of one of our most distinguished 
Bishops, the wife of an eminent Nonconformist, and other 
ladies representing widely different views ; but all united in 
uttering faithful and loving words of sympathy and counsel 
to their less favoured sisters. Between each address all 
united in singing hymns, and there were no signs of flagging 

284 Woman s Mission. 


" IDLENESS alone is without hope ; " by useful labour the 
lives of the most wretched can be ennobled and rendered 
happy. This is the moral to be pointed by this paper on 
"Woman, the Missionary of Industry," and is amply con- 
firmed by the records of the work of Mrs. Morrogh Bernard, 
Mrs. Rogers, and Miss Roberts among the Irish peasants, 
of Mrs. Arthur Hanson among the Turkish refugees at 
Constantinople, and by many other deeply interesting reports * 
I have had the honour, as President of the Section of the 
Philanthropic Work of British Women, of sending to the 
Chicago Exhibition. Woman, both from nature and circum- 
stance, has been generally a silent worker for the benefit of 
her fellow-beings ; doing good by stealth ; making many 
a "nook of God's creation a little fruitfuller, better, more 
worthy of God," many " human hearts a little wiser, man- 
fuller, and happier ; " and, especially in our age, in the van 
among the captains of the world, battling with evil in all its 
multitudinous forms. But although in this great work, and 
this great conflict, women have borne their full share of the 
heat and burden of the day, their services until quite recently 
have received but scant recognition. Even now scarcely a 

* Many other records of the beneficent results of the work of individual women 
in aiding the poor to help themselves, are dealt with in the papers by Mrs. 
Gilbert and Miss Petrie ; and I would like to direct special attention to what is 
said respecting the work of Miss Maude among the labourers in Somersetshire, 
of the Duchess of Sutherland, Lady Grisell Baillie Hamilton, and Miss Ferguson 
in isolated country districts in Scotland. 

Woman the Missionary of Industry. 285 

tithe is known of what woman has done and is doing to 
bring brightness and hope into the dark lives of dumb 
millions of toilers. It will be accounted to the honour of 
the American people in the future that they were the first to 
give a national recognition to the moral and material effects 
of woman's work and influence for good in the world. For 
the first time in the records of National and International 
Exhibitions, an attempt has been made at Chicago to give, 
what I may term, a dramatic and impressive representation 
of what women have endeavoured to accomplish in every 
branch of philanthropy, literature, science, and art. " How 
far that little candle throws its beams " will be uppermost in 
the minds of visitors to the Women's Building ; though but 
a glimmer of the shining light of woman's philanthropic work 
is reflected there. 

Of the devotion and self-sacrifice of the women who are 
everywhere about us labouring with unfailing patience and 
faith to bring light into dark places, it is impossible to speak 
without emotion. Theirs, in truth, is no " May game, but a 
battle and stern pilgrimage ; " and only in the knowledge of 
the good they have wrought lies their reward. Through the 
efforts of Mrs. Bernard, Mrs. Rogers, Miss Roberts, and Mrs. 
Hanson, as well as of thousands of others, idleness has given 
place to industry, squalid poverty to prosperity, ignorance to 
enlightenment. And no feature of the single-handed work 
of women is more striking than the wisdom and discretion 
with which it is generally conducted. Inspired by a large- 
hearted benevolence, and warm sympathy with the poor and 
suffering, the majority of women workers in philanthropy 
have not allowed their feelings to obscure their judgment. 
They recognize that 

" The truly generous is the truly wise." 

To enable those who would otherwise be destitute to help 
themselves is more truly generous than to give alms. In the 
one case those in distress are made self-reliant, independent, 
and useful members of the community ; in the other degra- 
dation and demoralization are too often the result. 

The difficulty of adequately representing the philanthropic 
work of women in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and 

286 Woman s Mission. 

Ireland will be best appreciated by those most intimately ac- 
quainted with the subject, and it is with the object of bringing 
some of the difficulties home to the minds of others that I 
have undertaken in this paper to give a brief outline of what 
four women, whose names have hitherto been comparatively 
unknown, have been able to accomplish by their individual 
efforts. The story, which shall be told as far as possible in 
the words of the reports kindly sent to me in response to a 
special request, illustrates at once the vast importance of the 
philanthropic work quietly carried on by thousands of in- 
dividual ladies, of whose very existence the public has no 
idea, and the impossibility of obtaining even an approxi- 
mately accurate report of what British women are doing for 
the welfare of humanity. Not only is the record of the work 
of the four ladies I have already named, deeply interesting 
and instructive, but, owing to exigencies of time and space, 
it must be taken as representative of the noble results achieved 
by thousands of other silent workers. 

We all remember those gloomy days in the eighties when, 
by the failure of the potato harvest, thousands of Irish pea- 
sants were brought face to face with starvation. It was 
the Duchess of Marlborough, aided chiefly by women, who 
organized the relief fund for holding the famine at bay. In 
the still more gloomy days that followed, when men were 
forced to sit with folded hands whilst their wives and children 
were lacking bread, it was women who first brought help. In 
every part of Ireland there are traces of their work. Many 
a village in which a few years ago misery and want were 
chronic, is now the centre of a flourishing little industrial 
community. Such undertakings as those of Mrs. Bernard, 
Mrs. Rogers, and Miss Roberts have brought fresh life and 
hope to Ireland ; and what these ladies are doing at Foxford, 
at Carrick, and among the " Rosses," others are doing else- 
where, from Cape Clear to the Giant's Causeway. 

Mrs. Morrogh Bernard has long done yeoman's service in 
the cause of philanthropy. For many years she was the 
Superior of a convent at Ballaghaderin ; and whilst there she 
took a warm interest in all movements for improving the 
condition of the peasants. The National Schools which, as 

Woman the Missionary of Industry. 287 

Mother Superior, she had under her direction, were models 
of good management The girls she trained were as a rule 
bright and intelligent, and she fitted them so far as in them 
lay to do good work in the world. Unfortunately, for many 
a mile around Ballaghaderin, there were more hands to work 
than there was work for them to do ; more mouths to be fed 
than there was food wherewith to feed them ; for it is in the 
centre of one of the so-called congested districts, where a 
failure of the potato crop always means famine. The soil is 
so poor that it hardly defrays the cost of cultivation, and in 
those days there was no industrial employment of any kind 
in the neighbourhood. Thus, when their school-days were 
over, the peasant girls had to face a painful alternative. 
They either had to leave their friends and country, without 
having received the training necessary to render them suc- 
cessful emigrants, and to guard them against many privations 
and dangers, or they had to linger on at home in hope- 
less idleness, with semi-starvation for a companion. Mrs. 
Bernard was keenly alive to the suffering this state of things 
entailed on the poor among whom she lived. It was heart- 
breaking work for her to see the girls she had so carefully 
trained wasting their lives, a burden on those of whom they 
should have been the support. There was work enough in 
the world that wanted doing, she was sure, if only she could 
put them in the way of doing it. After much anxious 
thought, she resolved to try to organize a woollen mill, to 
provide not only profitable occupation for the women and 
girls in the neighbourhood, but also technical training for the 
children under her care. 

Whilst she was pondering on ways and means, it chanced 
that the bishop of the diocese paid her schools a visit As 
he was passing through the class-room, one of the children 
asked him to give " handsel," and " get the Reverend Mother 
a hand-loom." The child added that her mother had "a 
grand one at home." The bishop consented, and the loom, 
a veritable heirloom, full of years and moth-holes, was pur- 
chased for thirty shillings. The loom was harnessed at once, 
and the head weaver of the Manchester Technical School 
devoted his Christmas holidays to teaching the nuns and 
their pupils how it was to be served. It was soon evident, 

288 Woman's Mission. 

however, that Mrs. Bernard could not put her scheme into 
execution at Ballaghaderin, and she felt that she would have 
to find some more suitable site for her mill. 

One day she was at Foxford, about twenty miles from 
Ballaghaderin ; and whilst standing on the bridge across 
the Moy, she noticed the tremendous force with which the 
torrent there comes rushing down the rock-side. Such a 
water power as this was the very thing she wanted ; and 
there and then she determined to buy a piece of land 
close to the stream for her mill. She resigned her post as 
Superior of the convent, and accompanied by a little band 
of Sisters of Charity, set out for Foxford, April 25, 1891. 
She was convinced that the wisest course would be to start 
a school for peasant children first, and then, when that was 
in working order, a mill. The plan was to begin with the 
infants in the junior school, and gradually educate them with 
a view of introducing them to mill life after they had 
acquired a knowledge of the woollen industry, in a sort of 
woollen kindergarten. When they had been fairly instructed 
in religious and secular matters, these children were to be 
sent to the technical mill as half-timers, at the usual 
standard ages, and continue to receive education and training 
until they could be sent out as finished mill-workers. Then 
they would take rank as skilled workwomen, and as such 
would have little difficulty in earning an honest livelihood. 

On the land Mrs. Bernard bought at Foxford there was 
an old corn store, which she speedily had transformed into 
a class-room, and in it, on August I, 1891, she opened 
her school with eighty-four pupils. So far her work had 
been comparatively easy. It was in the organization of the 
mill that the real difficulty lay. The woollen manufacture 
is a very complex business, one in which it is by no means 
easy, even for those specially trained for the work, to succeed. 
Neither Mrs. Bernard nor her companions had any technical 
knowledge : and we can hardly wonder, therefore, that the 
announcement of their project was greeted with prophecies 
of failure. The undertaking seemed hopeless ; but the nuns, 
true to their motto, Caritas Christi urget nos, never wavered 
in their faith that Providence would help them on their way. 
Mrs. Bernard and one of the Sisters set out in search of 

Woman the Missionary of Industry. 289 

information. They visited mill after mill, bent upon learning 
every detail of the industry they wished to establish. 

" It was a curious sight to see veiled nuns studying the 
various machines used in the woollen trade, and taking 
copious notes of the many processes through which the wool 
passes before it becomes finished cloth." At best it was 
weary work for them, for the more they went into the details 
of the business the more perplexing did it become. Probably 
they never realized all the difficulties they would have to 
contend against until they went on this journey. Just when 
things were at the darkest, however, there came a gleam of 
light Nothing daunted by the discouragement she met 
with, though sorely troubled, Mrs. Bernard appealed for 
advice to Mr. J. C. Smith, the managing partner of a firm 
noted for the beautiful woollen fabrics it turns out. This 
gentleman was keenly interested by what she told him of 
her plans ; still, he had little faith in women as organizers, 
and strove earnestly to persuade her to try some other and 
less intricate method of doing good. But when he found 
that, in spite of his warnings, Mrs. Bernard persisted in her 
project, he drew up for her the plan of the technical mill as 
it now stands, and gave her the full benefit of his experience 
in arranging how the work was to be done. 

The months that followed were a great anxiety for Mrs. 
Bernard, for it was a serious undertaking this starting of a 
woollen mill in a wild district. In addition to all her other 
cares, she had financial difficulties to struggle against. She 
had but scant means at her disposal, building and machinery 
were a heavy expense, and she soon found herself compelled 
to borrow money. Even in those days, however, before it 
was properly started, she had the happiness of knowing that 
her scheme was proving a blessing to her poorer neighbours. 
Numbers of the peasants were kept busily employed all 
through the dreary winter the first time for many a long 
year. " Gradually the plans were carried out ; the mill-race 
was completed ; a powerful turbine water-motor of the latest 
modern construction was placed in position ; and in due 
time all the woollen machinery was ready. Mr. Burdett- 
Coutts, M.P., and Mr. Wrench as representative of the Con- 
gested Districts Board, were present when the first start was 


290 Woman s Mission. 

made. It fell to the lot of Mr. Burdett-Coutts to draw forth 
the beautiful soft fleece from the first bag ever opened at 
Foxford, and as a souvenir of this little ceremony he has 
since had some hand-looms set up in the mill for the Sisters." 
During the last two years the state of things at Foxford 
has been transformed. Since Mrs. Bernard began her work 
there, the place has quite lost the desolate look which used 
to distinguish it, and is now full of life and cheerful bustle. 
In addition to the mill she has built two large schools. In 
the upper school, more than a hundred girls are being care- 
fully trained to use not only their heads but their hands ; 
whilst in the infants' school, an equal number of children are 
being fitted for their future duties as half-timers at the mill. 
They all take delight in their work, and seem to feel real 
affection for the little balls of wool they are being taught to 
handle ; and when the time comes for these two hundred 
girls to leave school, each one of them will have, literally at 
her finger-ends, a profitable calling. Already some forty girls 
are at work in the mill, where they lead busy, useful lives, 
and earn enough to keep themselves, and often their parents, 
ioo, from want. 

Mrs. Rogers had done much good work in London before 
she began her Irish undertaking. For years she had been 
trying to render women financially independent by putting 
them in the way of earning their own livelihood. At the 
very time the potato famine was causing such terrible distress 
in Ireland, it chanced that a trading company which she had 
organized, received several large orders for knitted gloves. 
Here was work, paying work too, waiting to be done ; 
whilst in Ireland women were starving because they had no 
work to do. Mrs. Rogers felt it was an opportunity which 
must not be lost, of giving a helping hand to people destitute 
through no fault of their own. She resolved to go to the 
famine district, and try to organize the knitting industry 
there on a regular basis. On the 2/th of February, 1880, 
she set out for Donegal, taking with her a lady who was 
both a skilful knitter and an expert in technical teaching. 
Mrs. Rogers' first experiences were certainly not encouraging. 
When she arrived at Pettigo, sixteen miles from the town of 

Woman the Missionary of Industry. 291 

Donegal, she found that the railway went no further. There 
was neither food nor lodging to be had in the village, and 
the only way to Donegal was by a bridle-path across 
mountains. To make matters worse, a violent snowstorm 
was raging. Even when she reached Donegal, her troubles 
were far from being at an end ; for obstacles of all kinds 
were thrown in her way by local tradesmen, who were afraid 
she would interfere with an embroidery industry for which 
they were the agents. At length, after a fortnight spent in a 
vain endeavour to find girls to undertake the knitting, Mrs. 
Rogers, almost in despair, appealed for counsel to the parish 
priest. He warmly approved of her scheme, but advised her, 
instead of staying in Donegal where the people were tolerably 
well off, to go to Carrick, some twenty-four miles farther in 
the country, where the peasants were on the very verge of 
starvation. In consequence of his report she decided to 
make Carrick her head-quarters. 

In those days Carrick was only a dismal, poverty-stricken 
little hamlet, with nothing but bog and hills for miles around. 
It stands just at the foot of the Sleive League Mountain, in 
the midst of the wildest and most picturesque scenery. To 
all intents and purposes it was then completely cut off from 
the outside world, for the nearest railway station was at 
Stranorlar, fully fifty miles away. At Carrick, Mrs. Rogers 
met with a cordial welcome from Father Kelly, who is at once 
the priest, lawyer, and lawgiver of the district. He had a 
heart-rending tale to tell of the distress amongst his parish- 
ioners. There was not a girl in the country side, he said, 
but would gladly do the knitting, and he undertook to have 
a goodly array of workers for her to choose from by the 
following Monday. From the altar on the Sunday he ex- 
plained to his hearers what Mrs. Rogers proposed doing for 
them, and implored them to make the most of the chance she 
was giving them. 

The news that there was work to be had, spread like wild- 
fire through the district ; and when, on the Monday morning, 
Mrs. Rogers arrived at the cottage she had hired, she found 
it in a state of siege. More than a thousand women were 
assembled, many of them wild with excitement wild, per- 
haps, with hunger too. The case was one of special difficulty, 

292 Woman's Mission. 

for hardly one of these peasants could understand a word of 
English, and neither Mrs. Rogers nor her companion could 
speak Irish. Fortunately, just when the confusion was at its 
highest, and the crush was becoming dangerous, Father 
Kelly arrived, speedily cleared the women from the house, 
and mounted guard over them outside. The cottage con- 
tained four rooms, and into each one of them, when something 
like order was restored, twelve women were admitted, there 
to be initiated into the mysteries of knitting. It was soon 
clear that none of them had any idea even of putting stitches 
on the needles. The whole of the first day, therefore, was 
taken up teaching this very elementary process. So soon as 
one girl could cast the stitches, she was provided with needles 
and wool, and sent home to practise, whilst another took her 
place. But the work advanced very slowly, for all the in- 
struction had to be given through an interpreter ; and at 
nightfall, hundreds of women were still standing there in the 
cold, waiting for their first lesson. The Irish are, however, 
a good-natured, long-suffering race ; and not a word of 
complaint was heard. They trudged off to their cabins on 
the hills again, vowing they would be amongst the first at 
the cottage the next morning. 

Day after day the same scene was repeated. Crowds of 
women stood waiting from morning till night for this knitting, 
which was to keep the wolf from the door. Unluckily, their 
very eagerness for the work only increased the difficulty of 
showing them how to do it. They were so wild and boisterous 
in their ways, that the task of teaching them seemed hope- 
less. It is no easy thing to knit gloves ; in the special kind 
Mrs. Rogers required, wool of three different colours had to 
be used, and the shaping of the thumbs and fingers was quite 
an elaborate business. It was work, in fact, that needed 
some amount of technical skill ; and potato-hoeing was all 
these people had been accustomed to. At the end of a 
week of ceaseless toil, the wrist of one glove was all that 
had been achieved ! Little wonder both teachers and taught 
felt inclined to despair. The former could see nothing but 
difficulties before them, whilst the latter were weighed down 
by the thought that what they were trying to learn was 
unlearnable. During this depressing time, when her under- 

Woman the Missionary of Industry. 293 

taking seemed doomed, Mrs. Rogers found an invaluable 
auxiliary in Father Kelly, who spent his days striving to keep 
the women to their work by " threats, bribes, and kindly 
words of encouragement" Sunday after Sunday an odd 
little scene was enacted in the Roman Catholic Church : the 
priest in full canonicals stood by the altar and solemnly 
announced a list of prizes to be competed for. Five shillings 
was promised to the woman who should first knit a creditable 
thumb ; two and sixpence for a well-shaped finger, and 
a whole sovereign for the first glove. Every sermon he 
preached, too, was an earnest exhortation to perseverance. 
Still it was three months before a single pair of gloves was 
made, and during that time Mrs. Rogers had spent ,100 on 
her undertaking. 

The first six months were certainly a terrible struggle, and 
then things began to look brighter ; some of the girls became 
wonderfully deft at the work, and, besides knitting gloves 
themselves, helped to teach their companions to knit them. 
Soon huge packets of goods were sent off to London, and 
in the course of a year ;iooo was paid to the women in 
wages. A thousand pounds is not a large sum, but at Carrick 
money went far, and to those among whom it was divided 
it made all the difference between starvation and comfort. 
For two years the women were kept busily employed knitting 
gloves ; then a change of fashion came ; knitted gloves were 
no longer in demand, and Mrs. Rogers had to find some other 
occupation for her protegees. In the course of a very few 
weeks she entirely reorganized their work, and put them in 
the way of making knitted underclothing for children. 

Carrick is now a very different place from what it was when 
Mrs. Rogers made her first visit there. It has developed 
into quite a thriving little town, with a singularly prosperous 
air about it. Well-built cottages have replaced many of the 
miserable huts which used to stand there, and even shops 
with plate-glass windows an unfailing sign of material 
progress have appeared of late. Though the people still 
retain all their simple primitive ways, few signs of real 
poverty are to be seen in the district. 

In 1888 Sir Henry Roscoe appealed to Mrs. Rogers to 
do for Connemara what she had already done for Carrick. 

294 Woman's Mission. 

All around Carna there was terrible distress, and against it 
the late Father Flannery the famous " Father Tom " of 
Carna, whose name will live in the hearts of his grateful 
people for many a long day was fighting almost single- 
handed. After some hesitation Mrs. Rogers went to his 
assistance, and at Carna established, notwithstanding many 
difficulties and discouragements, a knitting industry for the 
benefit of the women, on the same lines as the one she 
had already organized at Carrick. 

Miss Dorothea Roberts, of Berry Hill, Mansfield, has 
founded a knitting industry which provides employment for 
some hundreds of poor women, in that wild north-west 
corner of Ireland, called locally " the Rosses." Ross, in the 
Irish language, means "headland." "Our Rosses," Miss 
Roberts writes, "stretch out into the Atlantic like the fingers 
of some giant hand. America, we say, is our ' next parish.' 
The great New World seems all the closer because there is 
not a family in our parish which has not some of its members 
living there, across the wild Atlantic billows. By that stern 
seaboard the harvest of the land is scanty, grown only on 
such washings of soil as can accumulate in cups between big, 
rolling, stony mountains. The harvest of the sea, rich as it is, 
remains ungathered for the most part, awaiting such generous 
help as that which has turned Baltimore, in the county of 
Cork, into a busy hive of industry. For half a century past 
the Rosses women have been excellent knitters. The late 
Lord George Hill, and Mr. Forster, his agent, greatly en- 
couraged this work by industrial shows and prize-giving in 
the neighbouring parish of Gweedore. 

"Ten years ago the excellent parish priest of the Rosses, 
Father B. Walker, received my first hanks of wool, which he 
promptly returned to me, in London, knitted into shapely 
stockings. The work begun by me in so small a way has 
grown and flourished by the kind help of sympathizers all 
over Great Britain. Our parish lies remote from the Donegal 
centres where agents give out yarns for Scottish and other 
hosiers. Those beneficent new railways, which I see opening 
up whole 'congested' districts elsewhere, can scarcely climb 
over our rugged mountains, or cross the long fiords which 

Woman the Missionary of Indus fry. 295 

wind up amongst the cliffs of our western seaboard. The 
Parcel Post is our main dependence at present, both for 
delivery of yarns and export of goods. 

" The eager, barefooted, Irish-speaking women, who crowd 
in from remote islands to my agent when the news of the 
coming of a bale of wool has spread, are quick to seize new 
ideas, and very quick with their fingers, too." 

Miss Roberts has for ten years past been able to pay on 
an average 10 a month in wages ; and has recently executed 
an order for thirteen thousand pairs of army socks. The 
particularly fine work done by the knitters is purchased by 
persons all over England from Miss Roberts, who adds, " It 
has been touching to me to meet with such kind help from 
people of all ranks, creeds, and parties, for by their means 
alone I have been able to keep up this work the best help 
of our poor district." 

We must now shift the scene to a distant but not less 
interesting country, where Mrs. Arthur Hanson's work at 
Constantinople, for the Turkish refugees, must certainly be 
ranked among the most remarkable and successful efforts 
made by individual women of this century for the welfare of 
their fellow-beings. Here, again, the motto adopted is, " Not 
alms, but work ; " and seldom has the truly philanthropic 
desire of aiding those who would be otherwise absolutely 
destitute, to help themselves, been followed by greater good 
or more far-reaching results. No less than two thousand 
Turkish women and children are at the present time enabled 
to gain an honourable living, while, owing to the wise manage- 
ment of Mrs. Hanson, a fund is also maintained out of the 
earnings for the support of those stricken down by age or 

The origin of this work is peculiar and historic. Fifteen 
years ago Turkey had been desolated by a terrible war. 
Before the Russian armies, advancing in a line which stretched 
from Varna to Sofia, the whole Turkish population of Bulgaria 
and Roumelia had fled from their homes in terrified haste, 
snatching up such scanty provisions and small household 
treasures as they could carry on their journey. Amidst 
scenes of indescribable misery and suffering, Mr. Burdett- 

296 Woman s Mission. 

Coutts had carried on an extended system of temporary 
relief in his capacity as Special Commissioner of the Turkish 
Compassionate Fund, which was raised in England for the 
special relief of the refugees, as the Stafford House Fund was 
for the wounded soldiers. As long as the Russian armies 
kept to the north of the Balkans, the centres of distribution 
were mainly in the country. 

The defeat of the Turks at Orkhanie and the capture of 
the Schipka Pass, was the signal for a sauve qui pent through- 
out the fertile provinces to the south of the Balkan range. 
All the roads to Constantinople were crowded with long 
trains of refugees. A vast number died of starvation and 
the cold of a bitter winter ; but something like a quarter of 
a million reached Constantinople in a terrible condition of 
destitution, and were housed on the floors of the numerous 
mosques in Stamboul, at all times a teeming and overcrowded 
city. There they were fed by thousands every day by the 
Commissioner of the Fund. The Turkish officials were also 
most humane in their treatment of the hapless wretches, and 
the higher authorities did all in their power to provide for 
their wants by distributing food and raiment; and as Mr. 
Burdett-Coutts says, " His Majesty the Sultan throughout 
evinced the deepest commiseration for his unhappy people, 
and did all in his power to assist them." But little could be 
done by those who with one hand had to ward off the attack 
of the advancing Russians, while with the other they tried to 
help their victims to escape from them. 

Among the small possessions to which the women had 
clung to the last were the old embroideries of Turkey, many 
of which had been precious heirlooms in their families. 
Some of the women retained the rare art of making these 
embroideries. It occurred to Mrs. Arthur Hanson, one of 
the leading English ladies in Constantinople, that the art 
might be revived, the old beautiful colours reproduced, 
and a useful industry established among these unfortunate 
women, many of whom had been wealthy and comfortable. 
After the resources of the fund already named had been 
strained to their utmost in saving these refugees from 
starvation, a small balance still remained in hand. Upon 
this slender foundation, coupled with Mrs. Hanson's wonder- 

Woman the Missionary of Industry. 297 

ful energy, the industry was at first built up ; employment 
was provided for the refugee women who were skilled 
workers ; instruction and a means of livelihood were afforded 
to the ignorant and young ; and the new supplies of' the 
beautiful Turkish embroideries found a ready market in the 
great cities of Western Europe. Portions of the money 
advanced for these purposes were repaid as the undertaking 
grew and prospered under the energetic and wise control of 
Mrs. Hanson ; and the fund still exists, and by supplying 
Mrs. Hanson with working capital has been a source of 
incalculable benefit to thousands of the most helpless 
victims of a terrible war. 

From the first Mrs. Hanson's work prospered. Its 
success is due to two causes : first, to the untiring energy, 
patience, great organizing, administering, business capacity, 
and artistic taste of Mrs. Hanson, who has devoted her life 
to the promotion of the moral and material welfare of the 
Turkish refugees ; and secondly, to the superb quality of 
the embroideries produced. In every department of art 
embroideries, the products of Mrs. Hanson's frames are 
unrivalled. The work, as visitors to the Chicago Exhibition 
may see for themselves, is the most beautiful of modern 
times. In the admirable report upon the industry which has 
been kindly supplied to me by Miss Constance Eaglestone, 
and from which I have already quoted, she says, "The 
charm of this Turkish embroidery consists in the originality 
as well as the beauty of the designs. Many of these have 
been handed down from generation to generation in the 
Turkish harems, and so jealously were they guarded as 
heirlooms, that had not the fortunes of war brought the 
princesses from palaces in the Balkans down to the level of 
the peasant women in huts at their gates, the secret of their 
creation would never have been divulged. Other patterns 
have been copied from designs of Eighth Century work 
collected by Mr. Wrench, British Vice-Consul at Constanti- 
nople ; some, again, are from scrolls and arabesques in early 
mosques of different parts of the Ottoman Empire, and 
among these may be specially mentioned those from the 
enamels of the historic Green Mosque of Broussa, to enter 
which, until a few decades ago, was death to any but a 

298 Womaris Mission. 

Mussulman. Others are believed to be the exact counterpart 
of the embroideries alluded to in the Books of Moses as 
covering the robes which the priests wore during the services 
in the Temple, and must, therefore, have come into the hands 
of this race from another of far greater antiquity, while the 
possession of them by the Osmanli is easily explained by 
their triumphant progress through Western Asia before they 
established themselves on the Bosphorus in 1453. Nor has 
the attraction of modern art been wanting to bring this work 
still nearer to perfection. When the Parisian dealers saw 
how popular the Oriental embroidery was becoming through- 
out France, they made useful suggestions for the yet more 
artistic combination of the colours employed, and sent some 
of their own lovely textiles of silk and gauze to serve as a 
foundation, instead of the coarser fabrics which had hitherto 
been used." Another property of the embroideries is that 
they are as durable as they are beautiful. They never fade, 
and the gold used in them never tarnishes, not even when 
exposed to the damp of the English climate. 

" The Ottoman race itself," Miss Eaglestone adds, " has 
little or no inventive power. The refugee women could 
bring out their woven treasures which they had concealed 
about their persons when they fled from their Bulgarian 
homes, but they can do nothing but copy from the model set 
before them, while orders to make even the slightest alteration 
in it only bewilder them. When new ideas are to be intro- 
duced, Mrs. Hanson, or her helpers, must patiently guide the 
willing but errant ringers, stitch by stitch, through the frame 
that supports the dainty mesh, until the secret has been made 
the worker's own. Another difficulty is, that having once 
learnt a new stitch the women seem to lose all power of 
remembering an old one. ' It is gone, gone,' they repeat 
hopelessly, when the enigma that they could have solved 
with closed eyes a week before is laid before them ; thus it is 
a serious undertaking to lead a skilled worker away from the 
design which her lithe brown fingers have made popular at 
every Court of Europe." 

The work which this paper has described is essentially 
individual. In each case it has been by personal exertions, 
by personal thought and labour, that help and comfort have 

Woman the Missionary of Industry. 299 

been brought to those in need and distress. There could be 
no more striking evidence of the far-reaching results being 
achieved through the wisely-directed efforts of individual 
women, than is furnished by the story I have briefly sketched 
of how these four notable industries were established in the 
face of overwhelming odds. It is a noble record of difficulties 
overcome, of circumstances conquered, of suffering relieved. 
Thousands of lives have been made happier, thousands of 
hearts have been cheered, and thousands of souls aroused 
to higher and nobler aspirations. 

Woman's Mission. 


John Stuart Mill Scholar in Philosophy^ University College, London ; 
Author of " Ctovs to Holy Writ." 

THE reports that it has been possible to collect for the Chicago 
Exhibition under the heading of " Philanthropic Education " 
seemed at first sight, when I was asked to make them the 
basis of a Congress Paper, as fortuitous a concourse of atoms 
as ever gravitated to a centre. Seeking for common charac- 
teristics, I observed first that all described schemes whereby 
in the battle of life the rich may help the poor. I use the 
old-fashioned expression deliberately, as more applicable 
to present conditions than the ancient phrase "gentle and 
simple," and truer to the facts of life than the arrogant 
modern division of mankind into " upper and lower classes." 
We speak here of rich and poor, not only in money and what 
money can buy, but in skill and knowledge, in leisure and 
friends, in mental and moral power. 

Secondly, I observed that the various devices described, 
by which the one may aid the other, are all of them new, 
and many of them very new. Our fathers lived happy and 
creditable lives before the mania for shaping and joining 
societies, associations, guilds, unions, and leagues for the 
amelioration of society, arose. Are they, therefore, mere 
fads and superfluities of an age of peace and luxury ? Nay. 
Three features in the life of to-day seem abundantly to 
justify their existence. 

First, the rising standard of comfort. As we move either 
geographically or chronologically from a lower to a higher 
civilization, we observe that a larger and larger number of 

Serving One Another. 301 

men are dissatisfied with themselves and their surroundings. 
Indeed, the motive power of all civilization has been well 
defined as "progressive desire." A need felt for the first 
time is not, therefore, an unreal one, and to-day we need 
many things that our fathers neither had nor missed. 

Secondly, the increasing division of labour. Here we 
speak not of satisfying a new craving, but of replacing 
something of value that would otherwise be altogether 
lost. The application of machinery to almost every depart- 
ment of labour tends to divide it more and more, and con- 
sequently to reduce the labourer more and more to a machine. 
The artisan of the past, who brought the bit of work he had 
begun to the highest perfection that he knew, found an interest 
and an education in doing it, which his descendant does not 
find in the monotonous repetition of a single act. The agri- 
cultural labourer of the past, who depended on his own eye 
and hand for the unswerving furrow or the neatly felled sheaf, 
developed aptitudes which his successor who rides a machine 
is without. A multitude of unremembered artists made our 
ancient cathedrals glorious with lavish carving. Nowadays 
even our aesthetic needs are to a large extent gratified by 
wholly mechanical processes. It is good that the humblest 
cottages should be hung with chromo-lithographed copies of 
good pictures, but the production of these copies draws out no 
artistic faculties in their producers. Thanks, however, to the 
good artificial light which modern inventions supply, the 
ploughman or factory "hand " has an evening that his ances- 
tor had not, in which the day's dull toil may be supplemented 
by the carving class or instructive lecture, calling out powers 
that would otherwise remain undeveloped. 

Thirdly, the growing tendency towards separation of class 
from class. " Our greatest industrial danger," said the Bishop 
of Durham lately, "lies in the want of mutual confidence 
between employers and employed. Confidence is of slow 
growth. It comes most surely through equal intercourse." 
The descendant of the apprentice who lived under his 
master's roof, now receives his wages from an employer who 
does not know his name. In many of our great towns, rich 
and poor do not even meet on Sundays before their common 
Maker. The employers dwell in a handsome new suburb. 

302 Woman s Mission. 

and swell the well-dressed congregation of a new church. 
The employed herd in the older part of the city, and form 
parishes where, as an East End London vicar lately expressed 
it, " every lady cleans her own doorstep." No wonder, there- 
fore, that in our days social questions are in the forefront, 
and "the human heart by which we live" demands new 
means of bringing together those who would otherwise be 
utterly separated in all relations outside of business, to their 
great mutual loss. We need (I again quote Dr. Westcott) " to 
hallow large means by the sense of large responsibility," 
" to provide that labour in every form may be made the 
discipline of noble character." 

Limits of space only permit me to illustrate, and not to 
enumerate, the various agencies at work in this direction. 
Dealing with them according to an ascending scale of human 
needs, let us take first those that aim at imparting skill, at 
making the hand cunning, as regards the food we eat, 
looking at efforts in an English city and an English rural 
district ; the clothing we wear, looking at an effort in the 
Scottish Highlands ; the appliances we use in our daily life, 
looking at London, a Scottish and an English village, and 
two English provincial towns. We then pass to schemes 
combining all three aims or two of them together, again 
drawing our illustrations from both Scotland and England. 

It is the public-house that fills the workhouse and the 
prison ; and the public-house is too often filled by the 
mismanaged home, the badly chosen and worse cooked meal. 
When, therefore, a girl acquires practical skill in cookery, she 
not only fits herself for the comfortable and well-paid 
calling of a first-class domestic servant instead of the 
comfortless and ill-paid calling of an unskilled factory hand, 
but she diminishes her risk of becoming the hapless wife of a 
drunkard. Board Schools had, however, been in existence 
more than ten years before the Government recognized that 
cookery should be regularly taught in them. Private enter- 
prise preceded Government action, in training teachers for this 
subject and in forming schools of cookery in London, Leeds, 
Edinburgh, and Glasgow. To Miss Fanny Calder's initiative 
is owing the Liverpool Training School of Cookery and 
the Northern Union of Schools of Cookery, and Government 

Serving One Another. 303 

recognition both of cookery and laundry-work is due to 
her vigorous and victorious struggle with the Education 
Department. Private enterprise must supplement Govern- 
ment action also, in continuing the training when school 
is over, or giving it then to those who have attended 
schools for which teachers of cookery could not be provided. 

Classes for cookery and domestic economy in Wiltshire 
and Dorsetshire were founded by Mrs. Bell in 1889. The 
Bishop of Salisbury suggested this scheme, which works 
through the organization of the Girls' Friendly Society. It 
began with a grant of 10, and gave during the next two 
years between fifty and sixty courses of lessons in cookery 
and laundry-work to girls fresh from school. Eventually it 
was affiliated to the Northern Union of Schools of Cookery. 

In days of old every woman, as the term "spinster" still 
indicates, "sought wool and flax and worked willingly with her 
hands," and no part of the world produced more characteristic 
and interesting fabrics than the Scottish Highlands. But 
when the machine-made goods of our great centres of 
industry were distributed by road, and especially by railroad, 
to the remotest corners of the kingdom, native homespun was 
in danger of being altogether discarded for cheaper but less 
durable and becoming raiment. The insight to recognize 
the value of these native industries, the sympathy to under- 
stand their usefulness and profitableness to the peasants, and 
the skill and patience to initiate and perpetuate a scheme for 
their resuscitation ere it was too late, were found in three 
successive Duchesses of Sutherland. Forty-four years ago, 
Harriet, Duchess of Sutherland, the beautiful daughter of 
the Earl of Carlisle, and Queen Victoria's chosen friend, 
organized an Industrial Society at Golspie, a little town on 
the south-east coast of Sutherlandshire, close to her High- 
land home, Dunrobin Castle. Four hundred people attended 
its first exhibition in September, 1850, and prizes to the 
value of ;io were awarded to the fancy tartans, tweeds, 
plaids, blankets, and hose exhibited. For several years, a 
similar annual exhibition was held in a pavilion erected for 
the purpose, until it was no longer in the Duchess's power to 
give such active evidence of her regard for the welfare of the 
Highlands. But the Scottish wife of her eldest son who 

304 Womatis Mission. 

was Countess of Cromartie in her own right became the 
patron of a second series of exhibitions, of which the first was 
held in August, 1886. The sales realized over 200, and 
30 was given in prizes. The present Duke of Sutherland, 
then Marquis of Stafford, had recently married Lady Millicent 
St. Clair Erskine, daughter of the Earl of Rosslyn, and she, 
supported by many other ladies well-known in Scotland, and 
aided by Miss Joass, the indefatigable secretary of the High- 
land Home Industries, has from the first thrown her whole 
heart into this work. In 1887, the exhibition at Golspie repre- 
sented the whole of Sutherland, and men's carvings were added 
to women's spinnings, sales and prizes bringing the exhibitors 
over ^377. In 1888, it was transferred to the Town Hall of 
Inverness, and not only the number and variety, but the 
quality of the articles exhibited, indicated the progress made. 
The exhibitors gained about 400, and received orders enough 
to keep them busy throughout the following winter. Two 
months later, on November 25th, Anne, Duchess of Suther- 
land, to whose patriotic zeal and untiring effort this success 
was largely due, entered into rest. The 1889 Exhibition was 
held in the Earl of Dudley's London house, opened by 
Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lome, and presided over 
by the Countess of Rosebery. Over 600 was realized, the 
exhibits coming from many parts of Scotland, and equally 
successful sales were held at Inverness and London in 1890 
and 1891. Out of this pioneer scheme in Sutherlandshire, 
other schemes have grown, such as those at Beaufort and 
Gairloch, and Lady Dunmore's work in Harris. The time- 
honoured distaff and spinning-wheel reject altogether the 
inferior materials which undiscriminating machines turn into 
shoddy, and amply vindicate both the artistic and the useful 
qualities of hand-work. 

That civilization means more, even for the poorest, than 
mere " creature comfort," was the thought that led a woman 
to organize, in 1885, the Home Arts and Industries Associa- 
tion. Its fourfold aim is to train eye and hand, and thus 
fit for many callings ; to fill the idle hours of working people 
happily ; to foster sympathetic intercourse between rich and 
poor ; and to revive good old handicrafts. Its classes, to 
the number of between four and five hundred, are held all 

Serving One Another. 305 

over the country for lads and girls and men, chiefly by lady 
volunteers, and the London central office, which is managed 
by a female staff, supplies these classes with suitable designs, 
and organizes instruction for their teachers. Their pupils 
are drawn from the ranks of unskilled as well as of skilled 
labour, and are always forthcoming in large numbers. The 
street-Arab who came at first "just for a lark," comes again 
and yet again for the growing interest of the work, and it has 
its own quiet influence in civilizing him. Moreover, this 
unostentatious work must develop some of the latent artistic 
talent that here as elsewhere only waits to be called out, and 
do something to remove the reproach that in matters artistic 
we are an uneducated nation, a reproach justified not only 
by the vulgar delights of " the masses," but by the prevalent 
drawing-room " art criticism " of " the classes." 

A wood-carving class for working lads, in Ratcliff, one 
of the poorest parts of East London, was organized in 1884 
by the Hon. Beatrice de Grey, and is now carried on by the 
Hon. Odeyne de Grey, her sister, and Miss Gertrude D. 
Pennant. The class meets for two hours one evening a week, 
from November or December till July every year. Four out 
of the six lads who originally formed it are now working in 
it as men. 

From eleven to seventeen men have availed themselves of 
a class which Lady Grisell Baillie Hamilton and her sister 
have, during three years, held in Scotland for two hours twice 
a week, throughout the four winter months. They pay a 
small fee to cover expense of warming and lighting the barn 
in which they meet, and gladly buy their own tools. The 
picture-frames, hanging cupboards, bookcases, etc., which they 
make they prefer to keep rather than to sell. Apart from 
the technical skill gained, they benefit by the awakening of 
interest and effort in connection with something quite outside 
the ordinary routine of their lives. 

In 1889 Miss A. E. Maude formed a class for the villagers 
of Drayton, Somerset, in order to provide them with profitable 
occupation when the weather forbids outdoor work. Observ- 
ing that most of the other Home Arts and Industries Classes 
chose wood-carving, she was enterprising enough to take up 
ironwork instead. The zest with which the men and boys, 


306 Woman s Mission. 

whom she teaches every Wednesday evening during the 
winter, handle the pliers, and labour at the forge and 
the anvil, and the ready sale found for the lamps, kettles, 
screens, brackets, and candlesticks produced have amply 
justified her choice. Gifts from the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, 
the Somerset County Council, and the Ironmongers Company 
enabled them to furnish their workshop in the first instance, 
and it is now open every evening all the year round. Over 
400 articles made by her pupils have been sold since the 
class was formed, and they have won the bronze medal of the 
Recreative Evening Schools Association, and the "Gold 
Star" of the Home Arts and Industries Exhibition in 

The Working Lads' Institute at Torquay, Devonshire, 
founded about 1886, offers to lads between twelve and 
eighteen years of age recreation and education, brightens 
their lives by human kindness, and brings them under moral 
and religious influence. Its bent iron and repousse classes 
are self-supporting. Their products are sold at industrial 
exhibitions and privately ; half the profits pay all expenses, 
the other half is a welcome addition to the lads' earnings, 
and Miss G. Phillpotts states that the classes also form a 
training school of good manners. 

In 1890 a class for brass repousse work was formed at 
Bournemouth by Miss Edith H. G. Wingfield Digby. A 
higher motive than either love of art or love of gain led eight 
men there, chiefly artisans, to give some ten hours a week to 
brass-work. Missionary zeal had been kindled at the Bible 
class they attended, and the proceeds of their work, whose 
high artistic merit may be judged from the specimens sent 
to Chicago, redeemed a little Chinese girl from slavery, and 
afterwards helped to pay for her maintenance and Christian 
education in the Jubilee School of the Church Missionary 
Society at Hong Kong. Certificates of merit have been 
awarded to three members of Miss Wingfield Digby's class 
by the Home Arts and Industries Association. 

We turn to three schemes which combine cookery with 
the work of the loom and the needle, and the carving-tool, 
hitherto dealt with separately, and four others nearly as 

Serving One Another. 307 

That it was founded by the Princess of Wales is not our 
only reason for naming the Technical School at Sandringham 
first Her Royal Highness's desire to train the sons and 
daughters of the Sandringham labourers bore fruit some years 
before technical education had gained its present hold upon 
the public mind. The school began in an old schoolroom, with 
evening classes instructed by an artisan from a neighbouring 
town. The interest aroused was so great that the Princess 
determined to make the whole scheme larger and more lasting. 
She sent Fraulein Nodel, formerly German governess to the 
young Princesses, to study the subject in London and the great 
Continental centres of technical education, and then 
appointed her lady superintendent of the School. In the 
enlarged schoolroom men and lads meet to learn carpentry, 
joinery, wood-carving, brass and copper repousse, and bent 
iron work. Meanwhile, the girls of the village are taught 
cooking, sewing, dressmaking, the making of baby clothes, 
and general domestic management, from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. 
every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The 
Norfolk County Council inspected and highly commended 
the school, but the Princess of Wales declined their offer to 
undertake its supervision and cost, preferring to maintain it 
at her own expense and keep it under her personal control. 
Her medical attendant, Dr. Manby, lately gave the elder girls 
a course of lectures for the St. John's Ambulance Association, 
and all who attended gained certificates. The school has 
gained many prizes at exhibitions held in London and 
different provincial centres, and the sale of the articles pro- 
duced increases steadily. 

In 1629, Baptist, Viscount Campden, bequeathed 200, 
and in 1643 his widow likewise bequeathed 200, "to be 
yearly employed for the good and benefit of the poor of 
Kensington for ever." Two acres abutting on the High Street 
of Netting Hill, London, are reputed to have been given for 
a similar purpose by Oliver Cromwell. The money was 
invested in land, and thanks to " unearned increment," this 
modest capital of .400 and two acres now yields an annual 
income of almost ^"4400. Of this sum, ^"1300 is annually 
expended in pensions to the aged and deserving, and nearly 
,900 more goes to hospitals, provident clubs, and special 

;o8 Woman 's Mission. 

relief of special cases of need. With this aid to the aged, 
sick, and distressed we are not here concerned. The remain- 
ing sum of about .1800 is laid out for the young of Ken- 
sington in apprenticeships, premiums, exhibitions, and scholar- 
ships for pupils of public elementary schools, and finally in 
providing the Campden Trust lectures and evening classes 
formed in 1888, whereby they may continue their education 
on leaving school. The classes during last session were 
attended by 196 boys, who learned carpentry, wood-carving, 
and mechanical drawing; and by 148 girls, who learned 
cookery, dressmaking, and drawing. Their success is, in no 
small degree, due to the untiring energy of the honorary 
secretary, Miss Catherine Hamilton. The voluntary help of 
other ladies and gentlemen has supplemented the instruction 
given by the various teachers, and the examiners' reports, 
and the large proportion of pupils who went up for examina- 
tion and obtained prizes and certificates, testify to the ex- 
cellence of the work done. Some of the best was sent to 
the exhibition of the Recreative Evening Schools Association. 
Out of ^484 spent on these classes, ,22 gs. was contributed 
by pupils' fees. The recent founding of the Kensington 
Polytechnic by the Marquis of Lome and others, promises to 
extend and develop the scheme still further, as this building 
has been assigned to the Campden Trustees, of whom the 
Vicar of Kensington is chairman. 

The Recreative Evening Schools Association, of which 
H.R.H. Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lome, is an active 
President, is little more than seven years old. Its object is 
to provide further instruction and healthful occupation for 
girls and boys who have left our elementary day schools. 
Careful inquiry showed that not more than four per cent, 
of these continued their education in any systematic way ; 
while it was obvious that they were sent forth into the work 
of life unfitted for its duties, and exposed, at the most critical 
age, to the perils of the streets at all hours. The secret of the 
great success of the association lies in the fact that the even- 
ing classes have been made bright and attractive. Instead of 
the dreary book-lessons in the three R's and English, which 
were formerly almost the only attraction for evening scholars, 
they introduced lantern illustrations of geography and travel. 

Serving One Another. 309 

history, and simple science. Among other subjects taught 
were book-keeping, shorthand, musical drill, gymnastics, 
clay modelling, metal-work, wood-carving, dress cutting, and 
cookery, for which no Government grants were then available. 
Ladies and gentlemen of culture and leisure were secured as 
voluntary teachers, and as managers of savings banks for the 
scholars, whom they also took for Saturday rambles and 
visits to public buildings and places of interest. The asso- 
ciation soon worked wonders. New pupils flocked into 
schools which had been almost empty. In London the 
centres aided increased from 29 in 1886 to 232 in 1892, while 
the estimated average attendances grew from 4350 in 1887 
to 12,500 in 1892. Public opinion was gradually aroused, 
and by means of meetings and wide circulation of informa- 
tion, evening schools were at length established throughout 
the land. The principles and methods of the association won 
hearty approval wherever they became known, so that to-day 
the idea of the continuation school is a perfectly familiar 
one, at least in all large centres of population, and the 
average attendance throughout the country, which in 1885 
was 24,233, had risen in 1892 to 65,000. Annual industrial 
exhibitions of the work of evening scholars in various places 
have emphasized the technical side of the enterprise during 
the last five years. Girls' evening homes and social institutes 
for working youths and men have also grown up, and we may 
hope that, eventually, in every town and village an evening 
school, recreative and practical, will be as much a matter of 
course as a day school. 

The Broomloan Halls Classes for Cookery and Sewing 
were founded at Govan, Glasgow, by Mrs. John Elder, in 1 885. 
They form a technical school for the wives and daughters of 
artisans, and are in the midst of a large ship-building popula- 
tion. All their incidental expenses are paid by the generous 
founder. The cookery demonstration class, attended by 
some two hundred women and girls, is the most popular. It 
is supplemented by the cookery practice class, at which 
their clever teacher, Miss Gordon, shows her pupils how to 
turn out the best possible Sunday dinner from the materials 
they bring on Saturday night. Eighty to a hundred women 
attend the Monday evening sewing and mending class ; 

3io Woman s Mission. 

a large number also appreciate that the starching and 
ironing class will fit them for a useful calling ; and lastly, 
forty-two girls are carefully trained to be kitchenmaids, and 
never fail to find good places. During the summer months, 
housewives who choose to enter their names on a list, are 
visited by intelligent and specially trained women of their 
own class, and shown how to cook and clean and arrange 
their houses. This kind of help is most eagerly sought. 

The Little Servants' Home, in connection with Brownshill 
House School, Stroud, was founded by Miss Winscombe. 
This attempt to prepare young girls for domestic service by 
training them under upper servants, might be imitated in 
other large households, for every effort that tends to raise the 
status of domestic servants, and the standard of qualification 
for domestic service, is a real benefit to girls in humble homes. 
For the third time, a village in Scotland claims our atten- 
tion. The Misses Fergusson, with the occasional help of 
their own servants, have, since 1881, organized and carried 
on most successful evening classes for joinery, basket-work, 
fretwork, carving, and drawing, among the men ; and for 
knitting, crochet, embroidery, etc., among the women of West 
Linton, Peebleshire. Their last sale realized 105, all profit 
to the workers. 

In Cumberland, the loveliest district of England, under 
the fostering care of Mrs. Hardwicke Rawnsley, wife of the 
Vicar of Crosthwaite (that picturesque vale, or thwaite, where 
St. Kentigern reared the cross in the earliest age of England's 
religious history), has grown up, since 1883, the Keswick 
Industrial School of Art, and a Linen Industry, which has 
Mr. Ruskin's leave to bear his name. Both are endeavours 
to reduce to practice his characteristic teaching, that a 
love of the beautiful lies hidden in every human soul, and 
that things made by hand, and bearing the impress of human 
individuality, are incomparably more beautiful than those 
which can be turned out by machinery. There is some- 
thing quite mediaeval about the whole undertaking, so little 
trace can be found in it of the modern commercial spirit, and 
so lovingly do these northern peasants linger over the details 
of their work. From seventy to eighty men now belong 
to the carving and brass-work classes. The Linen Industry 

Serving One Another. 311 

was started by Miss Twelves ; the spinning is all done with 
the old-fashioned wheels, and the weaving is all by hand. 
These earnest and artistic workers in the land of two Nine- 
teenth Century Laureates, lately had the satisfaction of doing 
honour to a third, by weaving a pall of wondrous beauty for 
Lord Tennyson's coffin. 

We turn now to schemes that aim at imparting knowledge, 
at informing the head, and according to our threefold being 
of body, soul, and spirit, take these as they successively deal 
with physical, mental, and moral welfare of mankind. 

Canon Kingsley, Bishop Wilberforce, and others have 
taught our generation the whole meaning of the old phrase, 
mens sana in corpore sano. Two societies, both dwelling in 
Berners Street, London, and both owing their existence to* 
the insight and energy of women, are waging successful war,, 
not with flourish of trumpets, but by quiet persistent work, 
against the arch-enemy ignorance, and teaching rich and poor 
that the essentials of wholesome life are pure water, nourishing 
food, daily bathing, and daily exercise ; that our homes must 
stand on high ground and dry soil, give abundant entrance 
to light and air, and be thoroughly cleansed, not only above, 
but below ground. The Ladies' Sanitary Association, founded 
in 1857, grew, so Lady Knightley of Fawsley tells us, out of 
a suggestion made by Dr. Roth, and has now about four 
hundred members. Countless lectures have been given 
through it to all sorts and conditions of women ; it has 
organized loan libraries of books on health, and distributed 
over a million and a half of tracts on hygiene for the people. 
Much of the technical teaching of which we have already 
spoken may be traced to its influence, as well as dinners for 
destitute children, nurseries for motherless babes, and many 
coal and clothing clubs and temperance associations. From 
its "park parties" have sprung the Children's Country 
Holidays scheme for city boys and girls, to whom an uncaged 
singing-bird, a growing wild-flower, an expanse of blue sky, 
a field of scented hay or waving corn, or the rippling of water 
or whispering of leaves in a wood, are things as new and 
wonderful as they are joy-inspiring. Its secretary is Miss 
Rose Adams. 

,12 Woman 's Mission. 

The National Health Society, founded in 1873, began 
with a modest scheme of lectures by ladies at men's clubs 
and mothers' meetings. It now has three Princesses of 
Great Britain for Patronesses, the Duke of Westminster for 
President, and over four hundred and fifty members. Its 
aims are well summed up in its motto, " Prevention is better 
than cure." Free lectures are given throughout the country 
to the poor, subsidised now in many places by the County 
Councils ; while distinguished medical men and eminent 
lady nurses instruct drawing-room audiences, who need 
teaching, scarcely less, in the laws of health. A diploma of 
honour was awarded to its literature by the Council of the 
International Health Exhibition, and among the varied 
matters that claim its aid and interest are hygienic dress, 
smoke abatement, open spaces, and boarding-out of children. 
Its secretary is Miss Ray Lankester. 

The Ladies' Association for Useful Work at Birmingham, 
which was founded in 1874, is a local association, rather 
younger than these two national societies. It was originally 
as comprehensive as its title, but since Mason College was 
opened it no longer labours for higher education, but is 
chiefly active in giving eight or nine courses of lectures on 
hygiene to working women ; keeping up a recreation-room 
for business girls, and organizing country holidays for 
children. Its useful work is almost wholly carried on by 
voluntary helpers. 

Education, in the narrower popular sense, next concerns 
us. This is not the place for speaking generally of the 
system that has supplemented girls' schools by women's 
colleges, and thrown open to the women of this generation 
a wide culture that is making women's lives richer and 
happier than they ever were before. Some women, like 
some men, go to the University in order to take up teaching 
or another profession that their attainments will render 
honourable. But some women, like some men, seek a liberal 
education for its own sake, and for its usefulness to others, 
rather than its gainfulness to themselves. And a new need 
of the help that they can give has grown up with their new- 
power to give it. We will glance at two organizations, alike 
in having a large staff of efficient but entirely unpaid teachers, 

Sewing One AnotJier. 313 

and a growing number of pupils who could not avail them- 
selves of professional tuition ; alike in knitting up innumerable 
friendships : unlike, in that the first has a local habitation 
wherein all its teaching is given orally ; while the second is 
carried on wholly by correspondence, and has no home 
besides the home of its founder and president. 

The College for Working Women, in Fitzroy Street, 
London, was founded in 1874, in memory of the Rev. 
Frederick Denison Maurice, originator of Queen's College, 
Harley Street, the earliest of all the women's colleges which 
now play so large a part in our intellectual life. It seeks to 
provide women in business and in domestic service with three 
things teaching, amusement, and opportunity of friendly 
intercourse. When it began, three-fourths of the two hundred 
women on its books were learning to read, write, and spell in 
elementary classes. Now, thanks to the progress of popular 
education, there is but one elementary class with twenty 
pupils, though the members are between three and four 
hundred in number. The Council seek a teacher for any 
subject desired by not less than six students. Some subjects, 
such as French, attract from their usefulness for daily work ; 
others, as in the case of a girl who lately took up Greek, 
because of their remoteness from the daily toil. There is a 
Bible class on Sundays, and lectures on First Aid and Sick 
Nursing have been given in connection with St. John's 
Ambulance Association. The classes are supplemented by 
a library of some two thousand volumes, all gifts. Members 
who have worked for four terms in a class may use the 
college as a club only, and the social side of its work grows 
more important as time goes on. Take, for instance, the 
Holiday Guild inaugurated by Lady Strangford. The four 
Saturday evenings in the month are devoted to a dance ex- 
clusively for students, presided over by young ladies ; an 
ambulance practice ; a working-party for the Institution for 
Promoting the General Welfare of the Blind ; a concert, or 
lecture, often given by some eminent person. About a 
quarter of the working expenses is met by students' fees, 
the rest by gifts from friends and from the City Companies. 
Miss Frances Martin is the Honorary Secretary. The College 
for Men and Women in Queen Square, London, founded in 
1864, carries on a similar work. 

314 Woman's Mission. 

The College by Post, founded in iSSi, sprang out of 
an effort which I made in my own early days at college, 
to help, by correspondence, other girls, whose opportunities 
were fewer than my own. University College, London ; West- 
field College, Hampstead ; Girton and Newnham Colleges, 
Cambridge, and Lady Margaret and Somerville Halls, 
Oxford ; the Ladies' College, Cheltenham, and kindred insti- 
tutions for higher education, have contributed to a staff on 
which between two and three hundred teachers have now 
been enrolled. From all parts of the United Kingdom, from 
the Continent and the Colonies, students, representing many 
different conditions of life and degrees of education, have 
joined to the number of between three and four thousand. 
Competition with professional teachers is carefully avoided, 
and no " coaching " for examinations, other than our own, is 
undertaken. Giving half an hour daily to Bible study in 
one of our seventy Scripture classes is the condition of 
receiving gratuitous instruction in other subjects. The 
scheme of historical Scripture study, which I have elaborated 
for our students, has now been published in a volume called 
"Clews to Holy Writ," which went into its third thousand 
within a few weeks of its publication. About twenty subjects 
are taught in our secular classes. The hygiene class, which 
is conducted by a medallist of the National Health Society, 
is one of the most popular of these. The wise and kindly 
influence of teacher upon taught, and the friendships, helpful 
to both, which grow up through their work together, are 
perhaps the most valuable and the least describable part of 
the scheme. Through the "writing mission," suggested by 
Lady Wright, some hundreds of our students are also in 
friendly correspondence with factory girls. 

So we pass from the intellectual to the moral sphere, and 
to organizations that aim at enabling people to be, rather 
than to know, taking first those that aim at fitting special 
classes for special duties. 

The Home and Colonial School Society, established in 
1836, is for the Christian training of women teachers, and 
sends forth annually some seventy-five to elementary schools, 
and some fifty to family teaching and secondary schools. 

Little can be done by the best of schools for those whose 

Serving One Another. 3 1 5 

home influences are adverse, and this was never truer than 
it is to-day, when the day-school system prevails widely for 
every class of the community. Hence the importance of 
insisting upon the sacred responsibilities of parents, often so 
lightly undertaken and so thoughtlessly delegated to others. 
At the request of some Bradford mothers, Miss Charlotte M. 
Mason, in 1888, drew up a scheme for assisting parents of 
all classes to study the laws of education as they bear upon 
the bodily development, moral training, intellectual work, 
and religious bringing up of children. The Bishop of Ripon's 
wife was the first President of the Parents' National Educa- 
tional Union, and the Earl and Countess of Aberdeen are 
the present Presidents. Among those who warmly took 
up the scheme were Dr. Lightfoot, Bishop of Durham, the 
Bishop of London, Miss Beale, of Cheltenham College, 
Miss Clough, of Newnham College, and Miss Buss, of the 
North London Collegiate School. Its organ is the Parents' 
Review, an admirable monthly. The House of Education 
offers definite training to those who hope to become mothers 
or governesses. "I was deeply impressed," said Her Majesty's 
Inspector of Schools, in November, 1892, "with the earnest 
and business-like way in which the students addressed them- 
selves to their work, and I do not doubt that they will devote 
themselves to the care of children with exceptional zeal and 

Analogous to the above is the scheme newly shaped by 
Mrs. Walter Ward (nte Emily Lord) for definitely training 
women, of more education and refinement than the average 
domestic, to be nurses for children. The demand for such 
trained persons is likely for some time to exceed the supply. 

Each of the enterprises dealt with above is fresh proof 
of a growing sense that " life is an opportunity for service." 
The story of the varied labours of earnest women " all for 
love and nothing for reward " would be incomplete without 
any mention of ministry to spiritual needs. Other papers 
deal with this fully ; here we may barely allude to the great 
army of unpaid Sunday-school teachers, and to the Church 
of England Sunday-school Institute, and the Sunday-school 
Union, which aim at equipping women for their important work. 

316 Woman s Mission. 

Thoughout we have to recognize a duty not only to the 
destitute and degraded, but to those who ask not alms but 
help of human fellowship, and appeal less to our pity than to 
our sympathy. It is through the co-operation, and not 
through the conflict of classes, that progress will be made, 
and the amount of this co-operation will depend upon 
the degree in which each class realizes what are its special 
responsibilities, and what are the true interests and the 
highest aims of the human race. 

" We must be here to work ; 
And men who work can only work for men, 
And, not to work in vain, must comprehend 
Humanity, and so work humanly, 
And raise men's bodies still by raising souls, 
As God did first." 




THE introduction into " elementary " and " continued " 
education in England of domestic science instruction, as 
a regular part of the curriculum, is a matter of somewhat 
recent recognition. But, when once accepted and adopted, 
the spread of the scheme has been most rapid, so that within 
the last twelve years the three most essential domestic arts, 
viz. cookery, laundry-work, and household sewing with home 
dress-cutting, have been fully organized on true educational 
lines, and are now regularly taught both in elementary 
schools and in technical education classes, with the methods 
and accuracy of other practical sciences. 

There was a universally felt want of some organized 
system of teaching the art of "making the home," an art 
which was literally dying out amongst the crowded popula- 
tion of the great cities and large towns, with the inevitable 
consequences of such ignorance, even degradation and 
intemperance. Moreover, with the loss of the art of 
"home-life" came the loss of wage-earning power, and while 
the number of unemployed women was daily increasing, 
a vast amount of remunerative employment in domestic 
matters was left undone from want of skill on the part of 
the would-be wage-earners. 

Schools of cookery arose in London, Liverpool, Leeds, 
Edinburgh, and Glasgow, giving instruction in that one 
essential subject to any one who would take the trouble to 
improve their knowledge, and providing at the same time 

318 Woman s Mission. 

centres where teachers could be duly trained, and whence 
diplomas of efficiency were issued. Still there was great 
difficulty in persuading educationists that the duties of home- 
life could be systematized and organized as practical science ; 
and it was not until 1881, after six years of persistent effort, 
that cookery was accepted by the Education Department of 
Great Britain as a subject that could be taught in every day- 
school, with a Government grant for every girl who qualified 
for it under the required conditions. The educational plans 
needed to bring so practical a subject into harmony with the 
generally accepted lines of education, were developed under 
the Committee of the Liverpool School of Cookery and 
Technical College for Women, one of the schools in the 
large educational body now known as " The National Union 
for the Technical Education of Women in Domestic Sciences." 
This union was created for the purpose of providing training 
for teachers of cookery in the elementary schools, teachers 
well taught in "the reason why" of the subject, and well 
practised in the art of imparting the knowledge of thrift 
combined with comfort, as well as skill in practical work. 
After the first shudder, at the thought of " education " 
including domestic work, had subsided, common sense 
rapidly prevailed, and while seven thousand girls earned the 
Government grant for cookery in 1884, in 1890 it was paid 
for nearly seventy thousand, and cookery was fully acknow- 
ledged to be a branch of national education. 

Encouraged by this progress, the Committee of the 
Liverpool Technical College for Women conceived the idea 
of introducing laundry-work in the same way, and accord- 
ingly devoted much time and attention to the development 
of a system which would be equally acceptable to the Govern- 
ment as that of cookery. The whole union accepted this 
second scheme ; teachers were trained in the same way as for 
cookery, and it was recognized by the Education Department. 
Encouraged by a Government grant for every girl taught, 
laundry-work was quietly making its way into elementary 
schools, when the sudden call for technical education for those 
past school life arose in 1890. Technical education was 
wanted for the wives and daughters of the artisans, for the 
" makers of the home," as well as for the wage-earners. What 

Growth and Development of Domestic Science. 319 

should it be ? Where could it be obtained ? Here the 
Schools of Cookery came forward, and presented to the 
Technical Education Committees, throughout the length and 
breadth of the land, schemes of practical education all ready 
to hand, in the most needed of domestic subjects cookery, 
laundry-work, and household sewing. Household sewing, 
i.e. home dress-cutting, mending, patching, and darning of 
garments in daily wear and tear, had also been popularized 
and methodized in the Liverpool Technical College, and 
been made as possible a subject of education as the renowned 
three R's. As to the methods of teaching, the great point 
was to teach " the reason why " of everything ; to get rid of 
tradition, chance, rule of thumb, and that general inaccuracy 
which has always been the bane of female work, but which 
now, happily, is gradually disappearing when scientific 
exactitude is found to be so forcible an element of success 
even in domestic matters. That scientific accuracy, and that 
knowledge of cause and effect which would create intelligent 
and interested workers, were equally needed in all the three 
branches of which this paper treats. The waste of food in 
the kitchen, the damage to garments in the laundry, the 
thriftlessness in the home wardrobe, were all the outcome of 
ignorance of the value of materials, of the uses of the forces 
of nature, of the power of order and exactness. Once bring 
simple explanation into connection with manual skill, and 
the whole face of daily work would be changed, and the idea 
of drudgery in work would disappear. Such has already 
been the effect of this new form of scientific training, and 
aided by a popular penny manual for each branch, the con- 
tinuity of the teaching has been secured, and the pupils 
supplied with efficient helps to memory. 

The systems of teaching cooking and laundry-work have 
grown out of purely English ideas, but the scheme of house- 
hold sewing is largely indebted to the admirable methods 
adopted in the Grand Duchy of Baden under the eye of 
H.R.H. the Grand Duchess, herself one of the leading 
educationists of Europe. To the excellent system there 
employed for teaching household sewing has been added 
in England a very simple and most satisfactory plan of 
teaching home dress-cutting, a popular system called the 

320 Woman s Mission. 

" Grenfell," which combines a certain amount of scientific 
accuracy with that ease of acquirement, which was the one 
thing needed to make a system acceptable to every class of 

In all these subjects, the use of the blackboard is the 
backbone of methodical instruction. 

This is the domestic science teaching which, so far, has 
been generally established in England ; but steps are being 
taken to go more into the minutiae of general housework, and 
under the joint committee of the London School Board, 
and the City and Guilds of London Institute, a centre has 
been formed, rooms fitted up, and a system of instruction 
organized, to enable the elder girls in elementary schools to 
have a course of practical lessons in all the details of house- 
cleaning, bed-making, etc. 

The course of twenty-two lessons has just been completed, 
and an examination held for the first time. Two hours were 
given in which to answer a paper of eighteen questions 
dealing with ventilation, drainage, thrift, method in house- 
work, exercise, and the principles of the various forms of 
cleaning required to keep a home in good order. After an 
interval, followed a practical examination, during which every 
branch of house-work was carried out by the girls, generally 
working in couples. 

The results were most satisfactory ; the girls, all either 
twelve or thirteen years of age, showed in their written papers 
a most intelligent acquaintance with the practical duties of a 
housewife, and in the practical work displayed a skill, neat- 
ness, and thoroughness, combined with evident pleasure in 
all they did, that augured well for the comfort of their homes 
in the future. This experiment having proved so successful, 
the scheme is now to be carried out in other places, and there 
is little doubt that before long it will develop all over the 
country, as another and very important branch of the 
technical education of girls in domestic science. 

Meantime public opinion has been thoroughly educated 
to appreciate the efforts of such a body of educationists as 
the " National Union," through whose labours mainly this 
work has been accomplished, and to regard the training- 
schools of cookery, and the technical colleges for women's 

Growth and Development of Domestic Science. 321 

education in domestic science, as national institutions of only 
a degree less importance than those longer established colleges 
which deal exclusively with the training of the head apart 
from the aid of the hands. Through these two great systems 
of education, viz. elementary schools and technical educational 
classes, this instruction in the science of home-life has been 
brought within the reach of every woman and girl, from the 
university graduate to the poorest little drudge, and has been 
accepted with an eagerness that sufficiently guarantees its 
permanence as an essential factor in the development of 
national welfare. Though still young, it has fully justified 
its existence by rapid extension almost too rapid, indeed ; 
but as almost every year fresh organizations are developed, 
it only needs time to bring the whole scheme to a level of 
efficiency adequate to every possible requirement in the 
making of the home. 

The union of schools of cookery, hitherto known as the 
" Northern Union of Schools of Cookery," was founded in 
1876, when the rise of various schools of cookery, chiefly in 
the North of England, made it inevitable that various systems 
of training, probably of different degrees of efficiency, would 
be started. It was, therefore, proposed that these schools 
should unite for the purpose of issuing diplomas and certifi- 
cates, and secure to the public an assurance that the teachers 
holding the diplomas of the Northern Union were thoroughly 
trained, and underwent examinations of a high standard both 
in theory and in practice. As at that time the chief schools, 
outside of London, lay in the North of England, and as 
Scotland also joined in the scheme, the name " Northern 
Union " was adopted. The first aim of these united schools 
was to train their teachers in the thrifty and economical 
methods specially suited to the circumstances of the working 
classes, while not forgetting the wants of the well-to-do. 
Next their attention was directed to the organization of 
cookery as an educational subject, and to the training of 
teachers in all the educational methods required for them to 
become teachers of cookery in the elementary schools. The 
same system of training, of examinations, and of fees for 
teachers, was adopted throughout the union, while the 
details were arranged by the committee of each school. The 


322 Woman's Mission. 

council meetings of the union being held year by year as 
required, new developments were accepted as the public 
needs seemed to demand them, and when legislation became 
necessary the council as a large educational body appealed 
from time to time to the Education Department, and obtained 
the recognition needed to promote efficiency and progress in 
elementary school work. By degrees the work of the union 
widened, so as to embrace in its organization for the training 
of teachers, the three most needed of the domestic sciences, 
viz. cookery, laundry-work, and household sewing, with home 
dress-cutting. At the same time the area of its membership 
was extending all over England and Wales, and rendered 
the title "Northern" so misleading, that at the council 
meeting held in November, 1892, it was decided, with the 
consent of H.R.H. the Duchess of Albany, the Patroness, 
to change the name, and that from henceforth the union 
should be known as "The National Union for the Technical 
Education of Women in the Domestic Sciences." 

In the " Handicrafts " Section of the English Department 
at Chicago, there is an exhibit in three frames, of the 
methods of teaching these domestic sciences, explained by 
photographs, specimen work, books, plans, rhymes, etc. ; and 
in the library sent out from London is a copy of the first 
truly educational book on laundry-work, published in 1891.* 

* "Manual of Laundry- Work." Messrs. Longmans and Green, London. 

( 323 ) 



ALTHOUGH the protection of our crops from devastation is 
unlike the benevolent work recorded elsewhere in these 
pages, it is benevolent work of the highest moment. Its 
immediate consequence is to secure the fruits of labour and 
to enhance the production of food ; which is to cheapen it. 
Therefore this volume would be incomplete without some 
reference though it must needs be slight and insufficient 
to the enormously important labours of Miss Ormerod. 

This lady is brought more nearly within the scope of our 
purpose by the fact that she is the daughter of a mother who 
was remarkable for the success of her own philanthropic 
endeavours ; which took a shape common enough, though 
rarely pursued with Mrs. Ormerod's method, determination, 
and persistency. Possessed of strong good sense and sound 
accomplishments, she devoted them to the philanthropic 
purpose of grounding her children in knowledge and cha- 
racter. Besides her daughters, she had seven sons ; they all 
became private pupils of Dr. Arnold, or were under that 
famous tutor at Rugby ; and so well had their mother pre- 
pared them for school that Dr. Arnold felt himself con- 
strained to mark his sense of it by sending a special message 
of approval. It may be worth adding that while praising 
their scholastic training, he specially commended the sound 
religious knowledge with which the boys came to his care. 
Of course such a mother would be sure to bestow her wise 
and affectionate assiduities no less on her daughters than 
her sons ; and it is to her peculiar method of teaching, which 

324 Woman's Mission. 

taught self-reliance in working and insured that whatever 
knowledge was acquired should be sound and fixed, so to 
speak, that Miss Ormerod traces the genesis of her important 

Miss Ormerod's father, who is known to many as the 
historian of Cheshire, had a property in Gloucestershire 
Sedbury Park, opposite Chepstow, in Monmouthshire. His 
health failing in extreme old age, she assisted her sister, 
Georgina Ormerod, in managing the property ; and here 
again, perhaps, we may trace the results of the mother's 
training. The management of an agricultural property is not 
often undertaken by educated women, or not, at any rate, 
with the close personal superintendence that was bestowed 
in this case. When thus engaged, Miss Ormerod's attention 
was forcibly drawn to the waste that resulted from imperfect 
or neglected information, and more particularly to the ravage 
of crops by what was generally called " blight." " Blight " 
was in fact the devastation perpetrated by insect plagues of 
various kinds, by which now one crop and now another was 
destroyed over large breadths of country. What " blight " 
was did not, of course, remain a secret till Miss Ormerod's 
time. It may be gathered from publications devoted to 
agricultural pursuits that the matter was methodically studied 
in a previous generation, though not to much purpose. Dr. 
Fream, the learned editor of the Journal of the Royal Agri- 
cultural Society of England, can tell us that "ten or a dozen 
years ago the subject of agricultural entomology, as a serious 
and profitable study, was scarcely recognized in this country." 
"Blight" was contentedly adopted as the explanation of 
every variety of ravage ; and though the loss occasioned 
thereby was often great, and sometimes extremely grave, 
"little attempt was made to investigate the nature of this 
' blight,' still less its cause." And something more than 
investigation was needed. Persistency in ascertaining what 
the blight was in its several forms, what the attack, what 
conditions favoured it, when and how it could best be met 
this (though it was no light undertaking) was not enough. 
An equal persistency in preaching what inquiry revealed was 
necessary if good were to be done on a considerable scale. 
Recorded in books of science, such knowledge has little 

Miss Ormerod' s Work. 325 

practical value. In a very great measure the facts in this 
case had first to be ascertained almost from the beginning, 
one might say ; and when ascertained and verified by 
repeated observation, they had then to be urged on the 
attention of agriculturists in a precise yet attractive and 
popular way. Thus the coolness and patience of scientific 
inquiry had to be joined with an enthusiasm for doing good, 
as they were in Miss Ormerod, with the result that the cares 
of many a husbandman have been lightened, his fields rescued 
from waste, and his farm-animals spared much of the torment 
inflicted on them by venomous and exhausting pests of 
various kinds. 

Dr. Fream says and he has more acquaintance with Miss 
Ormerod's work than any one else, unless it be her sister, who 
has always been associated with it that a particular interest 
in insects began with her before it had any purpose. " One 
of her earliest recollections is that of being placed on a chair 
to watch some large water-grubs (probably the larvae of the 
carnivorous water-beetle, Dytiscus marginalis) in a glass ; 
when, to her amazement, one of the creatures which had got 
injured was devoured by its companions. This initial obser- 
vation whetted her appetite for farther knowledge of creatures 
which could do such dreadful things." Sedbury Park afforded 
ample scope for her studies as amateur observer till the later 
time when she took part in managing the farm and estate ; 
and then her observations became distinctly practical and 
purposeful. Beetles that devour each other had still a specu- 
lative interest, perhaps ; but beetles and other pests that 
devour the farmer's substance, making havoc of thousands of 
tons of food that would otherwise have been placed on the 
markets, were a much more cogent matter ; and Miss Ormerod 
went to work systematically to discover all that could be 
learnt of these plagues, with a view to their prevention or 
extermination. Her plan was the excellent, and in this 
case indispensable, one of multiplying observation to the 
utmost, and then comparing results under the light of a 
thorough knowledge of agriculture personally acquired at first 
hand. Whatever it may be now, " blight " was at that time 
an obscure subject, and one that could be generalized upon 
with dangerous ease. To arrive at sound information and 

326 Woman s Mission. 

here it must be sound or nearly valueless it was necessary 
to bear in mind that appearances often deceive. One farm 
is not precisely as another ; conditions vary in different parts 
of a county, and even in different parts of a parish ; and Miss 
Ormerod took the whole island as her province. Great re- 
sources, however, awaited her in the desultory but accumu- 
lative observation of farmers and farm labourers all over 
England. Here was a store of knowledge in the shape of 
isolated facts (and not of much use in that condition), which 
became of the highest value when brought together for com- 
parison by a discriminating mind. Miss Ormerod's plan was 
to draw from this store of knowledge in all directions open to 
her. Beginning with the farm labourers of Sedbury, she sup- 
plemented and connected her own investigations by what 
others observed in their daily work in the fields ; obtaining 
from them reports of insect invasions, insect attacks, speci- 
mens of the tiny destructive creatures themselves, examples 
of the mischief they are capable of doing, with an account 
of whatever means had been found serviceable for prevention 
or remedy. It was not a neglected subject, though it was 
left to Miss Ormerod to deal with in a thorough and 
thoroughly successful spirit. About twenty-five years ago, 
as Dr. Fream informs us, the Royal Horticultural Society 
began to form a collection illustrative of insects useful or 
injurious to cultivators ; and it seems that Miss Ormerod's 
first contribution to the public good was furnishing this col- 
lection, year after year, with many specimens of insects in 
their different stages of life ; to which were added examples 
of the injury inflicted on timber, corn, roots, and other 
valuable products of the soil. It was after her father's death, 
we are told, that Miss Ormerod " conceived the idea of re- 
cording the results of sustained observations upon the ravages 
of insect pests on the farm and in the garden." In the early 
part of 1877 she issued a brief pamphlet entitled " Notes for 
Observations on Injurious Insects." The pamphlet was in 
fact a circular invitation to observe ; to gather facts metho- 
dically and report them ; and, judiciously distributed, the 
invitation brought to Miss Ormerod a variety of information 
which was published for use in the autumn of the same year. 
Thus was commenced a series of annual reports increasing 

Miss Ormerod's Work. 327 

in value with the number of observers and the accumulation 
of ascertained facts which have been immeasurably service- 
able to agriculturists. It is impossible to say how much our 
farmers have profited by the diffusion of accurate knowledge, 
timely warning, and well-tested remedy against the insidious 
marauders that so often ruined their fields ; but we know that 
the amount of anxiety avoided and labour redeemed from 
cruel loss must have been very great indeed. 

And the work and its benefits still go on, enlarging from 
year to year. In 1881 turnip-fly made great havoc, and in 
the following year Miss Ormerod wrote a special report upon 
it. One consequence of this publication was the appointment 
of its author as Honorary Consulting Entomologist to the 
Royal Agricultural Society of England ; in which capacity 
she continued to issue special reports, founded on particular 
inquiry into the habits and depredations of wire-worm, hop- 
aphis, mustard-beetle, and other formidable pests ; one of 
which the Hessian Fly she was the first to identify and 
proclaim as an invader of English fields. This was in 1886. 
But Miss Ormerod's attention was not confined to the 
destruction of crops. Farm animals are sorely preyed upon 
by insects and other creatures more obscure ; and not only 
to the mere annoyance of the cattle attacked, but to their 
very grievous suffering. The warble-fly, for example, inflicts 
dreadful injuries, often ruining the poor beasts whom it 
infests ; which,, of course, is not only torment to them, but loss 
to their owners. This plague was under Miss Ormerod's 
investigation for several years ; at the end of which time she 
was able to publish every information about it. All is known 
that need be known about the warble-fly and how to deal 
with it. This is an example of her thorough methods of 
working ; methods demanding so much devotion that they 
can never be suspended or postponed. As Miss Ormerod 
marked out the business of her life, she had to be constant 
to it all day and every day ; to be always " on the spot " for 
reference and consultation, among other things. In a letter 
to a correspondent she writes, "I have only been away on 
what is called ' a holiday ' once (and that for three days) for 
more years than I can easily count." At length illness has 
obliged her to resign the office of Consulting Entomologist 

328 Woman s Mission. 

to the Royal Agricultural Society. Her work is not over, 
though the time has come when it must be brought within 
endurable limits. But the time is not in view when the fruits 
of her labour will be exhausted. Speaking literally, they 
are a great and a lasting endowment ; and besides the direct 
benefits which Miss Ormerod has bestowed upon the nation, 
there is something which upon the whole may be greater 
still : the stimulus of her example as inquirer and investigator 
where ignorance is pain and loss. 

( 3 2 9 ) 


IN the early part of the present century a movement was 
begun in London for the protection of animals against cruel 
treatment At that time, either from ignorance, thoughtless- 
ness, heedlessness, or wanton brutality, animals were generally 
subjected to extreme ill-treatment, and even torture. In the 
best circles of society a few persons openly protested against 
this cruelty, but the majority regarded with scorn, and often 
with indignation, any appeal made to them on behalf of the 
brutes, and naturally the lower and lowest classes of the 
people totally ignored the rights of dumb animals. The 
protests of humane people were silenced by ridicule which 
came from the platform, the pulpit, and the senate, as well as 
from the galled pens of satirists. 

After several unsuccessful efforts, a bill to prevent the 
cruel and improper treatment of cattle was introduced into 
Parliament, in 1822, by Mr. Richard Martin, and passed into 
law. This measure, known as Martin's Act, though narrow 
and defective, was the first instance of legal protection being 
given to animals by the responsible Government of any 
nation. Though shortly afterwards amended and extended, 
it was allowed, partly by the covert opposition of magistrates , 
to become a dead letter. Reckless savage punishment, and 
pitiless disregard for the sufferings of animals, were witnessed 
daily on the highways and in the streets, to repress which the 
uncombined efforts of a few benevolent'individuals were power- 
less. It was resolved, therefore, to establish a society, which, 
by uniting the friends of animals, should be powerful enough 
to enforce the law passed for their protection. 

33 Woman s Mission. 

In June, 1824, a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to 
Ani mals was formed, among the members being Mr. Richard 
Martin, Sir Francis Burdett, Bart, Rev. Mr. Broom, Mr. 
VVil berforce, and Mr. and Mrs. S. Gurney. The main object 
was to enforce the new law, and special officers were ap- 
poi nted for that purpose. The first prosecution was insti- 
tuted by Mr. Martin himself, against a costermonger charged 
with cruelty to his donkey by working it while suffering from 
ol d-standing abscesses under the harness. The magistrate 
is said to have declared that he could not convict under 
the statute unless the ill-treated animal were produced in 
court, and the donkey was accordingly introduced. The 
owner was convicted and punished, the incident being com- 
memorated by an amusing drawing, and some doggerel verse 

" If I had a donkey wot wouldn't go, 
D'ye think I'd wollop him ? No, no, no ! " 

After many years of successful work as a prosecuting 
body it was felt, in 1869, that the society had not fully 
carried out its mission as an educating agency, and an 
appeal was therefore made to the women of England to 
supplement its operations by organizing an education depart- 
ment. A letter was addressed to the Times by Miss (now 
the Baroness) Burdett-Coutts "to entreat public attention to 
a systematic training among all classes, both in principles 
of humanity towards animals, and in a knowledge of their 
proper treatment," and inviting people to consider whether 
" a systematic teaching of the absolute duty of man towards 
the lower animals should not enter into the practical educa- 
tion of all classes." In pursuance of this idea a meeting 
was held at her residence, Holly Lodge, Highgate, and was 
addressed by Mr. Angell, a distinguished advocate in America 
of the cause of the animals. An association was thereupon 
formed from members of the parent society, and named the 
Ladies' Humane Education Committee of the Royal Society 
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 

The influence of this committee has been both wide and 
deep. It has circulated broadcast leaflets, tracts, and other 
literature, including the society's monthly publication, The 
Animal World, introducing these into schools and libraries, 

Woman's Work for Animals. 331 

railway stations, hospitals and workhouses, and into hundreds 
of thousands of homes. It has made special efforts to reach 
butchers, drovers, carmen, grooms, coachmen, and farm 
servants. But its most important work has unquestionably 
been effected in our schools, where principles of mercy and 
kindness have been fostered by the encouragement of essay- 
writing on this subject, in which the committee has secured 
the cordial co-operation of the schoolmasters and school- 
mistresses. In 1892 Mr. Colam, the secretary of the society, 
was able to report that, for the competition of that year, 
no less than 69,183 essays had been sent in on the duty of 
kin dness to animals, from 901 schools, the number ten years 
previously having been only 11,684 essays from 319 schools. 
It will be noticed that while the number of competing 
schools has increased threefold, the number of essays has 
increased sixfold ; though even the latter figure does not 
represent the limit of this influence. For weeks the subject 
of the essay will probably have been the topic of conversa- 
tion in the family of each writer, silently influencing the 
rnin ds of the whole household. This important work, which 
has enlisted the active support of Her Majesty the Queen, 
and several members of the Royal Family, has been con- 
ducted entirely by women, and is now carried on by means 
of branch committees in all the large cities of the kingdom. 

The society, after grave deliberation, acquiesced in the 
pas sing of the Acts prohibiting vivisection, except when 
performed under inspection by a few operators provided 
with an official license. By these Acts an end was put to 
vivisection for purposes of demonstration, which, though 
probably illegal at Common Law, was openly practised, and 
thus an evil was minimized which could not be entirely 

e Another most useful work has been that instituted by Mrs. 
Smithies, a member of the Ladies' Committee, who organized 
young people and children into little societies known as 
Bands of Mercy, of which six hundred now exist The 
members declare they will be kind to animals, and will do 
all in their power to protect them from cruelty and to promote 
their humane treatment ; these duties forming the subjects 
of addresses and lectures at meetings of members, which are 

33 2 Woman s Mission. 

held at regular intervals. This effort began with the forma- 
tion of a Band at Wood Green by Mrs. Smithies, with the 
assistance of the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, the Rev. W. M. 
(now Archdeacon) Sinclair, and Mr. Colam. The work proving 
successful, was, at the desire of Mrs. Smithies, transferred to 
the Ladies' Committee, which became the governing body of 
these little societies. A monthly illustrated journal, entitled 
The Band of Mercy, is published by the Committee. 

The movement has taken a very wide extension, and the 
Flegg Band of Mercy Union may be mentioned as an example 
of local effort. Flegg the word meaning level is a district 
in Norfolk, in the neighbourhood of the beautiful Broads. 
The work began with the formation by Miss Florence Lucas 
of a Band of Mercy in the village of Filby, of which her 
father was rector, in 1885. Similar bands being organized in 
the neighbourhood, they were formed into a union, which 
greatly reduces the bulk of correspondence with the London 
central office, while leaving each village perfect freedom in 
the management of its own affairs. The union is governed 
by a ladies' committee, on which each village affiliated to the 
union is represented. The success of Miss Lucas's effort at 
Filby may be gauged by the fact that the number of members 
has increased since 1885 from thirty to over one thousand. 
Several other unions have been formed in the district on this 
model, and a measure of further co-operation and centra- 
lization is now under consideration. 

The society has also organized a system of visiting 
mines and pits and examining horses and ponies engaged 
there. It has published illustrated almanacks containing 
useful reading on the proper treatment of animals, nearly 
one hundred thousand of which are circulated annually, and 
has also translated into Italian a practical manual called 
" The Horse Book," of which several thousand copies were 
printed at the expense of the Baroness Burdett-Coutts. 

The discussion of the claims of animals and the spread of 
the society's principles, as advocated in papers issued by the 
Ladies' Committee, have led to the formation of several 
kindred associations. Among these may be mentioned "The 
Home of Rest for Horses," founded by Miss Anna Lindo, 
with the object of providing rest for tired horses and a retreat 

Woman s Work for Animals. 333 

for old favourites upon their becoming decrepit. It also 
provides horses to be used by cabmen, costermongers, and 
others, while their own animals are resting at the home. 
Another establishment, also formed by ladies, is the Animals' 
Institute, the president of which is Lady Frances Trevanion. 
Here sick animals are professionally treated, a nominal fee 
being charged to the general public, but not exacted from 
the poor. The Home for Lost and Starving Dogs in London 
was founded by Mrs. Tealby, and at first managed by 
women. All over the kingdom local societies are engaged 
in similar work of the highest value. Several societies have 
arisen whose object is the better protection of birds, and these, 
it may be said, have come into existence mainly by the opera- 
tions of the Ladies' Committee, whose leaflets, pamphlets, 
books, and journals have been circulated in great profusion. 
There can be no doubt, too, that by its influence on the 
public mind the work of this society has materially contributed 
to secure the legal protection of children against the cruelty 
of unnatural parents and others in authority. It will probably 
be suggested, and with much justification, that in a civilized 
community the protection of children should have preceded 
that of animals ; but it must be remembered that our com- 
plicated social system, and the peculiar character of the 
legal position of children, rendered this work one of special 

Lastly, an impulse has been given to the preparation and 
publication of literature, designed to carry out the principles 
of the Ladies' Committee, by inducing competent women to 
write stories and poems in promotion of the general cause. 
It is needless to add that the circulation of popular literature 
of this nature is not only conducive to a healthy sentiment 
throughout the community, but tends greatly to the amelior- 
ation of the condition of animals. 

334 Woman's Mission. 



THE Great Exhibition of 1851, an enterprise which will 
remain for ever memorable in the history of this century, as 
the first of what may be called the stock-takings of the world, 
has had many successors, and the recorded results of these 
furnish to the annals of our own time, and will furnish to 
the history of the future, valuable material for the archives 
of civilization. The " idea " of these successive epitomes of 
the products and the progress of the age, presenting impres- 
sive object-lessons in every country where they have existed, 
has grown with the growth of populations, commerce, and 
inter-communication, far beyond its first inception, but the 
purpose is still the same. That purpose is, in familiar words, 
to show us where we are. A great Exhibition gives us pause, 
and is equally welcome and instructive in all its aspects. 
The number and importance of those aspects in the case of 
the World's Fair at Chicago are greater than in any former 
instance, and will receive adequate and appreciative exposi- 
tion from thousands of pens. We shall be shown where we 
are in every branch of knowledge, in all kinds of achieve- 
ment, in all varieties of aspiration and effort, and to the 
statement of account of the latest of the great Exhibitions 
will " hang a tale," or total, on which the world may indeed 
look with pride, and which will act as an incentive to increased 
industry and ambition. 

One aspect only of this vast subject it is for us to present, 
and of that hardly more than a glimpse. Where shall the 

Work in British Colonies and the East. 335 

World's Fair show us to be in the field of philanthropy ? 
What have we been doing for our fellows all over the globe ? 
What is the outcome of the " deep-veined humanity " which 
cannot be denied to this age of the toiling and suffering 
earth ? With questions so wide we do not cope, but only 
endeavour to give an outline answer to the narrower demand 
for a record of what is being done, in the cause of the love of 
the human race, by women in our own colonies and in the 

The record, imperfect as it is, for we have not been able 
to procure anything like full information, is eminently satis- 
factory and hope-inspiring. In the Australasian colonies 
remarkable organization and vigorous personal action cha- 
racterize the charitable institutions and societies. These are 
very numerous, and are worked in many instances by both 
men and women in co-operation, so that, while we cannot 
dwell upon these instances, because we are limited by the 
conditions of our subject, they must not be eliminated from 
our general view of the energetic action which prevails in the 
philanthropical department of colonial life. Nor can we 
pass to the consideration of the work that is exclusively 
women's, without comment upon the enviable superiority of 
colonial special legislation for the welfare of children over that 
of Great Britain or any European country. The reforms for 
which we are striving have been achieved by our Australasian 
colonies, and the 1890-91 reports of Mr. Brett, Inspector of 
Charitable Institutions in the Colony of Victoria, upon the 
work of private persons and of societies under the Neglected 
Children's Act, are documents of deep and affecting interest. 
They record results which testify to the wisdom and benefi- 
cence of the legislation on behalf of the children, with whom 
the work of rescue must begin. Nine organizations for the 
purposes of the Neglected Children's Act form the subject of 
these reports ; four of the institutions are managed entirely 
by ladies, and the general work " a task," Mr. Brett writes, 
" which is most hopeful, and opens up a new era for child- 
life " is done by representatives of " all the creeds." The 
provisions of this Act for the security and inspection of 
children committed under it to the care of private persons, 
are particularly admirable ; indeed, the whole of the Act is a 

336 Woman *s Mission. 

model of all that is to be desired in legislation with this 
purpose. The latest report by Mr. Brett bears the following 
warm testimony to the worth of women's work : " The 
devotion and self-sacrificing efforts of women in the rescue 
of neglected children, and the value of the work done by 
them, cannot be overrated. Of all the philanthropic organi- 
zations which come under my observation, those established 
under the provisions of the 'Neglected Children's Act' are 
attended with the most beneficial results ; " and if " the 
Christianity and the civilization of a people may both be 
measured by its treatment of childhood " (Cardinal Man- 
ning), "the policy of the country in this direction may be 
accepted as an indication that we are not deficient in either 
the one or the other. I am of opinion that amongst the 
most practical and successful philanthropic efforts that have 
been, or are being made, by women, are the foregoing ; they 
look upon the problems of life from a different side from that 
of men, and bring fresh light to bear upon it ; they are dis- 
tinguished by a gift for detail and a power of individualiza- 
tion constantly required in the affairs of such work ; their 
familiarity with all that appertains to the needs of domestic 
life, combined with ready sympathy with suffering, makes 
their influence and co-operation invaluable in the cause of 

The Melbourne Ladies' Benevolent Society has the 
Countess of Hopetoun for its Patroness, and the following 
plain and practical works of mercy are its objects: "To 
relieve the wants of the poor, particularly females, by 
supplying them with clothes, food, and necessaries." Primary 
attention is paid to the sick, and to poor women in their 
confinement ; when children cannot be sent to school for 
want of means, the society assists them to the extent of 
its ability. Its work embraces the visitation and assistance 
of the poor in their own homes, without distinction of creed 
or country, within a widely-extended district. Relief is given 
chiefly in food, but also in rent, and assistance towards the 
purchase of various implements of work. An "Industrial 
Home" is in brisk working order under this society, 
" providing a temporary home for women, with such young 
children as may be dependent on them, during occasional 

Work in British Colonies and the East. 337 

intervals of employment ; " and that institution is open to 
all, without distinction of country or creed. The Ladies' 
Benevolent Society receives liberal aid from the Government 
of Victoria. There are forty-two Ladies' Benevolent Societies 
throughout the colony, and from July ist, 1890, to June 3Oth, 
1891, these distributed relief to 7853 individuals, at a cost 
of 13,679 us. 4^. The outlay for administration, etc., was 
;i8ii 19^. 3d r . The latter figures speak well for the manage- 
ment of the societies. 

In every department of women's work in the colony of 
Victoria high excellence has been attained ; in none has its 
zeal and fidelity been more fruitful of good result and more 
worthy of warm recognition than in the " Reformatory 
Schools." The whole subject of the development and 
v/orking of the Preventive and Reformatory system of 
Victoria is of primary interest and importance, and we have 
the word of the Agent- General for the colony for the high 
place which women hold in the administration of that 
system. The means of dealing with girls of the reformatory 
class are threefold. There is a Government reformatory for 
Protestant girls at Coburg, near Melbourne ; a private 
reformatory for Roman Catholic girls, conducted by the 
Nuns of the Good Shepherd, at Oakleigh, ten miles from 
Melbourne ; and a private reformatory for Protestant girls 
at Brookside, 112 miles from the capital. The latter was 
established and is conducted by Mrs. Rowe, and has, together 
with the Good Shepherd Reformatory, State assistance and 
inspection. Mr. Brett's reports on all three institutions 
speak highly of the efficiency of the management, and 
hopefully of the results. 

The history of the Brookside Reformatory is singularly 
interesting, for the institution is not merely of the modified 
penal kind, with which we generally associate the term ; it 
comes in also under the heading of Industrial Schools, in 
which Victoria is very strong. In its report of 1872, the Royal 
Commission on Reformatory and Industrial Schools, while 
commending the work carried on by the ladies of the Roman 
Catholic Church, represented the extreme desirability of 
similar work as regards Protestant girls being in private rather 
than official hands, in consideration of the former system's 


338 Womaris Mission. 

greater facilities for bringing religious influences to bear upon 
their reclamation and training. Similar representations, urged 
by the Secretary in the Departmental Report for Parliament 
for 1886, decided the foundress of the Brookside Reformatory 
to attempt the work. The school, which began with six 
inmates, had, in 1891, thirty-one in residence in two cottages, 
fourteen seniors being in one, with two ladies in charge, and 
seventeen juniors under the superintendence of two other 
ladies in the second. In addition to these, a considerable 
number of the girls who have gone through the school course 
are now placed at service in the farmhouses and families 
around, earning wages according to their abilities, being visited 
in their situations from time to time by Mrs. Rowe, her 
matrons, and the members of her Committee of Advice. Mrs. 
Rowe and the Nuns of the Good Shepherd have the same 
entire control and guardianship over their wards as that en- 
joyed by the superintendent of the Boys' Reformatory, a 
Government institution. At Geelong there is a Reformatory 
and an Industrial School under the charge of nuns, receiving 
Government assistance and inspection. These institutions, in 
their later development, are comparatively new and in the 
day of small things ; but they are of vast moment, and the 
women who are devoting themselves to this difficult work are 
doing the very best of patriotic service. The Ladies' Board- 
ing-Out Committees are admirably organized and efficient ; 
the success of the boarding-out system in Victoria is marked. 
Among the charitable institutions or societies other than 
those already mentioned, in the management of which women 
are immediately concerned, we find, in the metropolis, a 
Convalescent Home for Women, St. Vincent de Paul's Girls' 
Orphanage, the Abbotsford Refuge for Fallen Women, and 
an Infant Asylum. These, with the Provincial Orphanage 
for Girls (Geelong), make five important fields of philan- 
thropical action occupied by women. We now come to the 
charitable institutions, in the management of which women 
co-operate with men on the committee of management, and, 
as we learn from the reports of the Inspector, with the best 
results. Those in Melbourne are the Austin Hospital for 
Incurables, the Hospital for Sick Children, the Women's 
Hospital and Infirmary, the Convalescent Home for Men, 

Work in British Colonies and the East. 339 

the Melbourne Orphan Asylum, the Collingwood Refuge, the 
Carlton Refuge, the South Yarra Home, the Salvation Army 
Rescue Home, the Elizabeth Fry's Retreat. The provincial 
institutions in the management of which men and women 
co-operate on the committee of management are the Con- 
sumptive Sanatorium at Echuca, the Ballarat Refuge, and 
the Geelong Refuge. The official reports on all these 
are interesting reading, and full of encouragement for the 
future of the colony, which is so solicitous for the young, the 
weak, the sick, the fallen, the poor, in short for all suffering 
humanity, and finds so many woman-hands, heads, and hearts, 
all fit and ready for the most onerous tasks. In this place 
we may note that Mr. Brett is careful to make special refer- 
ence to the important subject of the nursing of the sick, and 
the trained and competent staff" of female nurses who are 
taking up the work of nursing in the hospitals of Victoria. 
He says, " The number of women is 273 as compared with 
45 men, and the testimony is all in favour of the special 
aptitude of women for such work, and the good they have 
done in raising the tone of our institutions." 

Special information concerning women's philanthropic 
work in New South Wales has reached us too late to enable 
us to give the particulars in so full detail as it deserves and 
as we desire, but even the list of the institutions worked by 
women is a noble record, and it is especially rich in provision 
for the relief of children. The Hospital for Sick Children is 
managed by a mixed board of men and women, but the latter 
are practically the directors of the institution. The hospital 
receives the sick children of the poor, irrespective of creed, 
and has a staff of trained nurses. The Asylum for Deaf, 
Dumb, and Blind Children, which is also chiefly a woman's 
province, is of high excellence, and has been pronounced by 
experts to be equal in merit to the world-famous American 
institutions of its kind. The best modern teachers are 
provided for " the disinherited ones," whose course of instruc- 
tion, in addition to that of the ordinary schools, includes 
music, singing, and domestic duties. The Infants' Home, 
originally the Sydney Foundling Hospital, is entirely women's 
work in its origin. In 1873 ^ ve ladies determined that they 

34O Woman s Mission. 

would do something to check the crime of infanticide, 
numerous cases having occurred in Sydney, and accordingly 
founded the asylum. Some years of struggle and difficulty 
ensued, but a more recent period has witnessed the prosperity 
of the Infants' Home, now assisted by the Government, and 
long since supported by the warm sympathy of the public. 
The great aim of the protectors of the poor little waifs who 
are thrown upon the charity of the institution, is to give 
them the elements of a home and family, and this is found 
to be most effectually done by what is now well known as 
the Cottage System. The boarding-out of destitute children 
in healthy country homes has proved a successful enterprise, 
and is entirely due to the exertions of a society of ladies 
which was formed in 1879. At that time the "barrack 
system " only prevailed. There were four refuges, viz. the 
Catholic and Protestant Asylum Schools, the Randwick 
Asylum, and the Sydney Benevolent Asylum. In 1881 
the scheme had so far justified itself by results that it was 
placed under official control, and a statute was passed by 
the Legislature, entitled " The State Children's Relief Act," 
under which a Board was appointed to control the boarded- 
out children, and this Board included the ladies who had 
initiated the movement. At the end of the first official 
year there were fifty-nine children in homes, at the end of 
the tenth year the number stood at 2369 ; and boarding- 
out was then generally recognized as the national policy 
for dealing with children of the State. All the depen- 
dent children supported by the Government had been with- 
drawn from the Randwick Asylum, and the denominational 
orphanages had ceased to exist. Two of three ladies who 
inaugurated this great reform, and who were known in the 
colony as " the dauntless three," Mrs. Garran, Mrs. Jefferis, 
and Mrs. (now Lady) Windeyer, still continue their labours, 
and the Misses Garran have acted for years as Hon. Secre- 
taries. Lady visitors in the principal inland towns regularly 
visit the boarded-out children. 

The Sydney Benevolent Asylum has a lying-in branch 
which is entirely managed by women ; this is also a training 
establishment for midwives. There are fifteen benevolent 
societies, similarly constituted and managed, dispersed among 

Work in British Colonies and the East. 341 

the principal districts of New South Wales. The Lisgar 
House School, supported by Mrs. Scott, an establishment 
at which poor children are boarded, lodged, and educated, 
has been in beneficent existence for many years. Coming 
to the hospitals' work, we find in our special report, as " one 
of the noblest monuments of women's work, the labours of 
thirty- five years among the sick and suffering of all creeds by 
the Sisters of Charity, who are the managers of St. Vincent's 
Hospital at Sydney." It was in 1855, upon his return from 
Europe, that Archbishop Folding brought with him a small 
band of Sisters of Charity, who were so impressed with the 
need for greater hospital accommodation in Sydney, that 
within a year after their arrival they began to collect for the 
establishment of a free hospital under their care. In 1857 
a little unpretending house was opened, with eight beds. 
We have no space in which to tell its progressive history, but 
must mention that medical men volunteered their help ; the 
Government gave a grant of land for a new building in 1862 ; 
and in 1863 Archbishop Folding laid the foundation-stone of 
St. Vincent's Hospital on the site now covered with a hand- 
some pile of building. We must pass on to the record most 
nearly up to date. In 1886 Lord Carrington laid the founda- 
tion-stone of the second half of the building ; and last 
November (1892) Lord Jersey opened yet another wing. 
The number of in-patients during 1891 was 1354, of out- 
patients, 7044, so vast is the work that has grown out of such 
small beginnings. The management is exclusively in the 
hands of the Sisters of Charity, and twelve medical men give 
their sedulous services to this hospital. St Joseph's Hospital 
for Consumptives at Paramatta was founded in 1889, and is 
managed by the Sisters of Charity ; and there is also under 
their care in Sydney a Hospice for the dying. 

A Home for the Aged Poor is conducted by the Little 
Sisters of the Poor on precisely the same lines as the well- 
known institution in London. Old and infirm persons of 
both sexes and all creeds are the inmates. A Children's 
Hospital at Petersham, a Magdalene Retreat, a Providence 
Home, two Orphanages, an Industrial School and Home, 
conducted on the Leichhardt system, at which young girls 
are taught trades by the Sisters, and an Industrial Orphan 

34 2 Woman's Mission. 

Reformatory, are among the Roman Catholic institutions 
inaugurated, conducted, and managed by women. 

An interesting feature of women's work in New South 
Wales is the Female School of Industry, a Church of England 
institution, founded in 1826 by Lady Darling, the wife of the 
then Governor of the Colony. It is one of the earliest 
foundations, and was established for the maintenance and 
training in cooking and domestic duties of fifty female children 
of poor persons, This course of instruction includes reading, 
writing, the first four rules of arithmetic, plain needlework, 
knitting, and spinning. We have not exhausted the list of 
women's philanthropical work in the Colony of New South 
Wales by the foregoing examples, but we are unable to enter 
more fully into the deeply interesting and encouraging 
statement before us. At fifteen years of age the children 
are apprenticed to subscribers, who are members of the 
Protestant Church, the committee standing in loco parentis 
until the child reaches the age of eighteen. This institution 
is well worked, and highly esteemed in the colony, where it 
is the only one of its kind. The Young Women's Christian 
Association and the Working and Factory Girls' Club are 
admirable examples of women's work, and are growing 

We have been favoured with several items of interesting 
information from the colony of Queensland, where women 
are working on so many lines that the space at our disposal 
does not enable us to do justice to the extent and multiplicity 
of their labours. Here again we find the Ladies' Benevolent 
Society in active work in the capital and elsewhere, admirably 
organized and generously supported. The rules of the North 
Brisbane Benevolent Society are very full and elaborate. 
The payment of a monthly subscription of one shilling 
entitles any lady to membership. Gentlemen are only per- 
mitted to subscribe. The objects of the society are almost 
identical in all the colonies, and the institution is evidently a 
favourite one in each of them. 

A special interest attaches to the Lady Musgrave Lodge 
and Training Institute for single girl immigrants and others, 
which was established in 1885, and whose full history to the 

Work in British Colonies and the East. 343 

end of last year is available for our purpose. The establish- 
ment, on unsectarian principles, of a home for friendless and 
especially immigrant girls, where they find guardianship, 
protection, and friendship, with comfortable conditions and 
no rigid rules, except those dictated by common sense, was a 
boon of great magnitude, and the benevolent intention of the 
foundress, Lady Musgrave, who still continues to take an 
interest in the Lodge, has been warmly seconded. The Lady 
Musgrave Lodge has rapidly risen from modest beginnings 
to so flourishing a condition that a vast and handsome edifice 
(of which Lady Norman laid the first stone on the ist of 
August, 1891) has been erected to replace the first Lodge, 
become insufficient for the inmates. During the six years of 
its existence, the institution had grown with such rapidity 
that at the date of the report for 1892, hundreds of young 
women were finding help, shelter, and guidance every 
year. The Lodge is now a home and registry office for 
trained nurses, young women in business, and domestic 

It is unnecessary to dwell upon the benefits which such 
an institution confers, not only upon the individuals of the 
immigrant class, in whose interest it was founded, but in 
relieving the anxiety and lessening the pain of those partings 
and disruptions of family life which are inevitable in the 
struggle for the means of bread-winning. During the year 
1891, 1 133 women were received into the lodge, a large propor- 
tion of these being girls who had come to the colony entirely 
unprotected, and without any means of support in the event 
of their being dismissed from their employment. This 
excellent institution now receives State assistance, and is 
regarded with great favour by the Premier, Sir S. W. Griffith. 
With the occupation of the new building, the activity of the 
work has been extended by the appointment of corresponding 
members, with whom communication may be held concerning 
the welfare of young women as they move from place to 
place either from or to Brisbane. Ladies have been appointed 
to act as corresponding members in all the important towns 
of the colony, and thus the bond of humane interest and 
kindly superintendence is maintained between their first 
friends among strangers and the immigrant girls, and the 

344 Woman s Mission. 

latter are not severed from the moral shelter of their first 
home in a strange land. 

In 1889, 2265 girls went to Queensland from England, 
and more than one-half of these landed in Brisbane. We 
learn from Miss Keith, the secretary, that prior to the estab- 
lishment of the Lady Musgrave Lodge attempts had been 
made to befriend the girl-immigrants, who were met on their 
arrival at the Immigration Depot, and put in communication 
with an association which was afterwards merged in the 
Girls' Protection Society. Experience, however, proved the 
impossibility of carrying out this work efficiently without a 
Home in which the large number of young women who 
applied for help and guidance might be cared for until suit- 
able situations could be found for them. To meet this 
necessity the Lady Musgrave Lodge was established, and its 
seven years' history proves that its promoters were not mis- 
taken in their idea of the requirements of the case. The 
advantages of the new Lodge include training-classes in the 
domestic arts, and courses of lessons in cookery, so that 
immigrant girls may not only be provided with situations, 
but qualified to fill them. Lectures on nursing by a qualified 
physician are provided for aspirants to that profession. The 
management is by a ladies' committee, and the secretary is a 
lady. The institution is an object of the deepest interest, 
actively displayed, to the ladies of Brisbane ; and we may 
judge of the economy with which it is ruled by the fact that 
the only paid officials in -the large establishment are the 
matron and two female servants. In the new Lodge there is 
ample accommodation for all possible requirements in con- 
nection with the work. Every boarder can now secure a 
separate bedroom, with the use of sitting-room, dining-room, 
lavatories, baths, and cool roomy balconies. When we add 
to these particulars the special advantages which have been 
secured to the immigrant candidates for admission to the 
Lady Musgrave Lodge, by arrangement with the large Steam 
Navigation Companies, we think it may fairly be claimed for 
the women's work of Queensland that it has created an insti- 
tution of exceptional value, and is maintaining its life and 

We know from our own experience in England that 

Work in British Colonies and the East. 345 

sympathy with, and help for, the suffering of young children 
are ready everywhere ; and we are therefore prepared to find 
the Hospital for Sick Children in Brisbane a favourite 
charitable institution. The story of its rise and progress is 
of unusual interest, for it had its origin in the merciful and 
energetic action of one lady. At an early period in the 
history of Queensland, the amount of sickness and the great 
mortality among children became apparent. "Free and 
assisted emigration," writes the author of the statement before 
us, " brought many immigrants to the colony. They ' took 
up ' land, built a bark or slab hut, and began clearing for 
cultivation ; a labour in which the mother as well as the 
children helped the father. In health all went well, but when 
sickness came there was no room for it. Much .suffering and, 
too frequently, death followed. This state of things came under 
the notice of a lady near such a neighbourhood about seven 
miles from Brisbane. It was asserted that a large number of 
children born in the district died under five years of age. 
Children under five are not admissible into the General 
Hospital, and when above that age were placed in the wards 
for adults an arrangement wholly unsuited to their tender 
years while in the little bush-home there were no means of 
meeting the needs of sickness." In 1876, it was resolved 
we may conclude by the observant lady, who remains 
anonymous to obtain a hospital for these little sufferers. 
For this end a few friends were gathered together, chiefly 
mothers with their young daughters, making an impromptu 
garden-party ; and their sympathy with the scheme was shown 
in such a hearty manner that then and there the work was 
begun, with such energy and enthusiasm that in the following 
year (1877) 1393 were placed in the bank. Twelve ladies 
then formed themselves into a provisional committee, stated 
their objects, opened a subscription-list for maintenance, etc., 
and obtained a copy of rules from the Children's Hospital 
in Melbourne, Victoria, the only one existing in Australia at 
that time. The committee sent to London for a qualified 
matron, two trained nurses, and medical appliances to the 
value of ^"50. They then rented as suitable a house as 
could be got, and soon all that was necessary to convert it 
into a hospital was done. A number of Brisbane merchants 

Woman s Mission. 

responded to their appeal by giving nearly all the requisite 
furniture, so that very little had to be taken out of their 
jealously-guarded funds. The "staff" arrived from London 
in February, 1878, and on the nth of March the Children's 
Hospital was opened, with twelve beds, to which three were 
immediately added, and arrangements were made for out- 
door patients. One important rule was made that, unless 
prevented by poverty, parents should pay for the maintenance 
of their children at the rate of from three and sixpence to ten 
shillings per week ; and so willingly has this rule been com- 
plied with that up to the present year the institution has been 
benefited to the amount of .3000. The children are admitted 
without reference to creed or country. The same year, the 
Government granted an excellent site of two acres, which was 
fenced in and cleared, and then the committee anxiously 
waited for the time to build. Soon after, the Queensland 
Government promised .1000 when they could show the same 
amount for building ; this they were able to do at once, and 
so the work went on and prospered. This institution, on 
which we have dwelt at perhaps unreasonable length, on 
account of the peculiar and touching interest which attaches 
to it, has been always well and wisely governed by earnest 
and warm-hearted gentlewomen, who have never spared them- 
selves on its behalf. It is entirely free of debt, has a Conva- 
lescent Home at the seaside, and is recognized as a blessing 
by the whole country. 

The Brisbane Female Refuge and Infants' Home is also 
the outcome of the Christian sympathy of one lady, Mrs. 
Drew, who in visiting the hospital, the gaol, and other 
places of suffering, had become impressed with the need 
of some home for young women who had forfeited their 
character and were anxious to reform. The foundress and 
private friends supported the refuge, which was the first of 
the kind in Queensland, for a year and a half, when the 
Government recognized its usefulness by granting a subsidy 
of 100, increased in 1878 to .200 a year. In addition 
a grant was made of land, on which the present building 
stands. The sole claim for admission is the distress of the 
applicants, and their willingness to conform to the rules of 
the place. During the twenty-one years of its existence 

Work in British Colonies and the East. 347 

725 women and 736 children have passed through the refuge, 
which remains under the management of the lady super- 
intendent and foundress, Mrs. Drew, whose service is purely 
honorary. This lady is effectively aided in her task, and 
in the supervision of her former charges when they leave the 
refuge for various forms of employment, by the philanthropic 
women-workers of Brisbane. 

A remarkably interesting example of individual effort is 
furnished by a communication from Mr. James Donaldson, 
of Sandiford, Mackay, Queensland, addressed to the Baroness 
Burdett-Coutts, and which we repeat here. "About two 
years ago," writes Mr. Donaldson, " Mrs. Donaldson started 
a small class for the Kanaka labourers on our small sugar 
plantation for the purpose of keeping them interested at 
night, and to prevent the drinking habits which were getting 
such a terrible hold on them. This work, which God has 
greatly blessed in her hands, was commenced in fear and 
trembling, as some of these men were big, stalwart, and very 
dangerous fellows to deal with, especially when under the 
influence of drink. The first step she took was to get them 
to take the blue-ribbon pledge, and then the instruction 
commenced with the ordinary school-primer, and slate- 
writing from a text, written upon a blackboard, which they 
could all copy ; and some of these men in about four months 
(hardly able to speak English at all except the broken 
pigeon-English) were able to spell out a lesson in the New 
Testament and write short texts very creditably. The 
class at first commenced with twelve, and then one and 
another asked to be allowed to bring their brothers and 
friends, until at last our small dining-room was filled to 
such an extent that it was almost unbearable, nearly one 
hundred getting into a room 18 feet by 20 feet I then put 
up a grass shed, and fitted it with rough tables and forms, 
and about two hundred can be accommodated in it. It is 
now getting too much filled, especially on Sundays, when 
some of the labourers from a great distance can attend. A 
large number of these boys have been baptized, and intend, 
when their present engagements are completed, to go home 
to their own islands, and teach their friends there the tidings 
of joy which have worked so great a change in their own 

348 Woman's Mission. 

lives." Results which cannot be foreseen or limited may ensue 
from this one woman's work; and yet, according to her 
husband's farther account of her, Mrs. Donaldson is one of 
those who might well plead much serving in other ways to 
exonerate her from the obligations of philanthropy. " My 
wife," her husband writes, " has four children to attend to and 
her house work, which includes baking, etc. ; and she seldom 
has a spare minute from between 5 and 6 a.m. till 10 p.m., 
and this although she is a very rapid and methodical 

The Lady Bowen Lying-in Hospital, which is subsidized 
by the Government, and is entirely under the management of 
ladies, was opened at the close of the year 1889, and is a 
most useful and flourishing institution. A special feature of 
its work is the training of pupil nurses to act as midwives in 
the outlying bush districts, where medical aid is not easily to 
be procured. It is hoped now that ten nurses may be trained 
annually. This addition to the work of the hospital is only 
two years old. The Industrial Home at Brisbane was a fore- 
runner of the Lady Musgrave Lodge. It has been in 
existence for ten years, and has a fair record of success in its 
work of mercy, conceived in the hearts, organized by the 
heads, and carried out by the hands of women. 

The Home for Governesses and Lady Workers in Bris- 
bane was established in 1883, by twelve ladies, under the 
presidency of the wife of Bishop Hale. Its object is to 
provide governesses and other ladies, who have to maintain 
themselves, with a comfortable home on very reasonable 
terms while they are seeking employment, or during vaca- 
tion. A few boarders who have daily engagements in the 
neighbourhood are also received. The home is managed by 
a committee of ten ladies, and is dependent upon voluntary 

The difficulty of great distances makes itself felt in the 
operations of the Girls' Friendly Society in Queensland, 
where it has been established for nine years, and is worked 
on precisely the same principles as the parent institution in 
England. The society is working fairly well, having six 
branches, but the members in the inland districts of the 
colony are so far apart that they cannot be got together for 

Work in British Colonies and the East. 349 

classes of instruction and amusement. With this drawback 
it would seem that the objects of the society are for the most 
part gained. A Ladies' Auxiliary to the Young Men's 
Christian Association also exists in Brisbane. At Too- 
woomba the Ladies' Benevolent Society is very active and 
efficient ; the same is to be recorded of the Ladies' Benevolent 
Association at Ipswich, which was organized by a committee 
of women in 1877, and is now carried on by them. The 
distinct object of this institution is the relief of distress by 
house-to-house visitation. Such an enterprise needs, and 
finds, numerous and indefatigable workers. 

We have been unable to procure specific information 
respecting women's share in the philanthropic work of South 
Australia and Tasmania, but certain indications are obtainable 
through the " Year Book of the Church of England in the 
Diocese of Adelaide," one of the three bishoprics which the 
colonies owe to the liberality of the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, 
who endowed the bishoprics of Adelaide and Cape Town 
in perpetuity in 1847. For lack of data, we shall be obliged 
to limit our brief sketch of women's work in South Australia 
to those charitable and educational associations which are in 
connection with the Church of England ; entertaining no 
doubt that other religious denominations are doing their 
duty to their fellows, and affording succour to God's poor, 
in that colony as in all the others. 

In the first instance we find the Ladies' Diocesan Associa- 
tion, which was founded in 1880 for the purpose of providing 
regular visiting for the hospitals and charitable institutions 
of Adelaide. Lady Jervois was the first president of this 
society. There are now forty-four members, and the insti- 
tutions visited are the General and Children's Hospitals, the 
Destitute Asylum, the Gaol, and the House of Mercy at 
Walkerville. The first charitable institution on the list was 
in its initial stage only when the Year Book was published, 
for although a suitable house had been procured for St. 
Peter's Home, the work had not been organized. We may 
take it for granted that the purposes of the home, which 
include educational and rescue work and visiting of the sick, 
are now in course of fulfilment. The Orphan Home, which 

350 Woman's Mission. 

is thirty-two years old (this speaks well for the early impulses 
of the new colony), receives and trains orphan girls, and is 
governed by a committee of ladies. At the date of the report 
the inmates numbered only twenty-nine ; but again we have 
to remember that the home is a Church of England institu- 
tion only, and the division of philanthropic work would be 
general among the denominations. The House of Mercy at 
Walkerville dates from 1881. This institution was founded 
in order to secure a retreat for young women who, having 
previously borne a good character, had strayed from the path 
of virtue, and to save them from further decline. A work of 
mercy indeed ! and carried out by the workers by paying the 
utmost attention to each individual case. The inmates are 
employed in laundry and general housework, and well cared 
for in every way. Each mother with her child is expected 
to remain for a year, when she can, if she pleases, leave her 
child in the House of Mercy by paying a small weekly 
contribution. Here is a field for the best work of the best 
women ; and they are busy in it. The committee is formed 
of ladies ; the chairman is a clergyman, the Ven. Archdeacon 

The Children's Home at Walkerville is of more recent 
establishment; it dates from 1887. This institution also is 
managed by a committee of ladies, and Archdeacon Dove is 
chairman. The objects of the home are to provide a dwell- 
ing for parentless children, where they can be fed, clothed, 
tended, educated, and have a foster-mother's care until they 
are of age to be placed in some useful walk of life, and to 
rescue children of vicious parents ; at the same time making 
careful provision against the encouragement of vice. 

A Convalescent Home and a Home for Incurables are 
included in the Year Book list, but it is not stated whether 
these institutions are for women. It may, however, be pre- 
sumed, as the secretary is a lady, that the latter is so limited. 
Then there are Cottage Homes, a Children's Hospital, a 
Girls' Reformatory, a Lunatic Asylum (at which a lady acts 
as organist), and the Destitute Asylum, where the chaplain is 
greatly assisted by a staff of regular lady visitors, and a 
voluntary choir of ladies. The Destitute Asylum is strictly 
unsectarian, but has a priest in charge of the members of the 

Work in British Colonies and the East. 351 

Church of England. Numerous Sunday schools have their 
women teachers, and Bible classes, district visitors' associa- 
tions, working societies, and benevolent societies, presumably 
on the same system as those which are found so useful in 
the other Colonies, are in the list Clothing clubs, provident 
funds, and mothers' meetings have been established through- 
out the widely extended diocese of Adelaide, with communi- 
cants' guilds and classes, and societies specially devoted to 
Church needlework and decoration. The Society of St. Paul 
would seem to be particularly active in the latter services, 
for which St. Peter's Cathedral Guild is also established ; but 
the duties of the guild include the visiting of sick persons 
commended to the members by the bishop or his vicar. 
The foregoing is a bare recapitulation of the service of women 
in only one section of society in the colony of South Aus- 
tralia ; but it is a creditable record in itself, and it affords a 
standard whereby we may fairly estimate the energy, the 
good sense, and the good will with which women outside the 
sphere of action whose record is the only one we possess, are 
doing their share of the never-ending day's work in that 
distant land. 

In an examination of a great subject necessarily so 
cursory, we must be content with a superficial statement of 
the aspects and condition of women's work in India, where 
it is of vast importance, most difficult and onerous, and 
productive of consequences perhaps it is too early to call 
them by the larger name results well deserving of 
careful study from all points of view. India is especially 
the woman's field of missionary labour ; she only can gain 
access to the secluded class of the women of the country, and 
bring to them the knowledge which will in time prove itself 
to be power ; she only can realize the precept : " Get the 
hearts of the women, and you will get the heads of the men." 
The Church of England Zenana Missionary Society holds 
exceptional rank among the philanthropic enterprises which 
bear witness to the " goodwill towards men " that animates 
our age, and glows more or less brightly among all Christian 
nations, and it affords an honourable example of intelligent 
organization, steady purpose, and unfailing devotion. The 

35 2 Woman's Mission. 

society, working in co-operation with the Church Missionary 
Society, has, in addition to its large number of mission 
stations in India, stations in Travancore and Cochin, in 
Ceylon, and in China. The methods of its work are Normal 
Schools, Zenana Visitation, Medical Missions, Hindu and 
Mohammedan Female Schools, and Bible Women's service. 
The twelfth annual report (1892) of the Zenana Society gives 
a satisfactory account of the progress of the educational 
work of the missions, and urges the necessity for many 
additions to the long list of women who are doing devoted 
service in this immensely important department of the 
gigantic task of philanthropy. The report makes a special 
appeal for volunteers for the China Mission, and states 
that the anti-foreign agitation has not affected the work in 
the Fuh-Kien Province. In connection with this subject a 
word must be said concerning the Chinese Bible Woman's 
Mission for Women and Children, a small society which is 
doing good work. The object of the mission is to teach 
Christianity, in the first place, to Chinese women whom the 
missionaries and catechists cannot reach, and to educate and 
bring up Chinese girls in its Christian boarding-schools. The 
report describes one of these boarding-schools at Ningpo, as 
follows : " We have now a native lady as matron in the 
school, and she is doing very well. Many of the girls come 
to us at five or six years old, not knowing anything. The 
course of instruction for them is much the same as in our 
infant school. They can as a rule read the Roman character 
almost fluently in three months, so as to be able to learn 
lessons themselves. Reading both Roman and Chinese 
characters, arithmetic, geography, singing, and Bible lessons, 
form their course of study. Needlework in all its branches 
(so that they may be able to clothe themselves), house-work, 
and cooking also take up much time ; so that when they 
marry (to which they all look forward instead of service) they 
are likely to make useful wives." 

One hundred and sixty English and foreign missionaries 
and teachers connected with the Ladies' Association are now 
at work in the eleven Zenana Missions in India, and in the 
twenty-two schools in Burmah, Japan, North China, Mada- 
gascar, and South Africa ; in these five thousand children 

Work in British Colonies and the East. 353 

are under instruction. It is pleasant to learn that at home 
three hundred working parties contribute a large quantity of 
work and native clothing ; their co-operation enables the 
association to send out thirty-five valuable boxes to various 
missions in India and South Africa yearly. The schools 
maintained or assisted by the Ladies' Association comprise 
boarding-schools, training-schools, industrial schools, and 
day-schools. The training-up of native Christian teachers is 
a most important part of its work. 

The Society for Promoting Female Education in the East 
is the oldest Zenana Society in existence. It was formed 
fifty-eight years ago for the purpose of giving instruction to 
women in the Zenanas in India and in their own homes by 
visitation ; boarding, day, infant, and Sunday schools ; Bible 
and sewing classes ; the training of native women as mission- 
aries, district visitors, schoolmistresses, and Bible women ; 
mothers' meetings, the Children's Scripture Union, and the 
Young Women's Christian Association. Much honour is due 
to this, the pioneer society, to which its ten successors and 
colleagues are indebted for initiative in some of the worthiest 
and most arduous tasks that are imposed upon the women 
of this age. 

The National Association for supplying Female Medical 
Aid to the Women of India is so important an institution, and 
has marked so great a step in advance in the organization 
of philanthropic work, that we shall best fulfil the purpose 
of this paper by giving extracts from an account of it written 
by Miss Sutcliffe, with the approval of the Marchioness of 
Dufferin and Ava, by whom the society was founded. First 
as to the origin of the work. "In 1884, when the Countess 
of Dufferin was on the point of leaving for India with her 
husband, the newly-appointed Viceroy, her Majesty the 
Queen sent for her to Windsor and asked her if she would 
consider on her arrival in the East what could be done 
towards supplying the women of our Empire in that part of 
the world with medical aid. Lady Dufferin gave her best 
attention to the subject, and in August, 1885, six months 
after her arrival in India, she published a prospectus of the 
new society she wished to form." This was announced as 
" The National Association for supplying Female Medical Aid 

2 A 

354 Woman's Mission. 

to the Women of India." Its objects were " medical tuition, 
including the teaching and training in India of women as 
doctors, hospital assistants, nurses, and midwives ; medical 
relief, including the establishment, under female superin- 
tendence, of dispensaries and cottage hospitals for the treat- 
ment of women and children ; the opening of female wards 
under female superintendence in existing hospitals and dis- 
pensaries ; the provision of female medical officers and 
attendants for existing female wards ; the founding of hos- 
pitals for women, where special funds or endowments are 
forthcoming ; the supply of trained female nurses and mid- 
wives for women and children in hospitals and private 

Certain other purposes were defined, but those enumerated 
are sufficient to show how wide was the scope, and how com- 
prehensive was the beneficence of the project which found 
immediate acceptance, and upon which the public are now 
in a position to pronounce, with the results of seven years' 
work before them. The story of the interest that was excited 
by the Queen's request to Lady Dufferin, and the practical 
manner of the Countess's response to it, the success which 
attended the project from the first, and the readiness with 
which it was welcomed and aided in England, is too well 
known to require capitulation. If the idea of teaching native 
women to be doctors and medical officers in all the grades of 
the profession, so that enlightened science should be applied 
to the needs of multitudes of women previously deprived of 
any such assistance, was startling, it was also fascinating, 
and such an extension of the philanthropic work which for 
many years had been carried on in our Indian Empire, was 
hailed with enthusiastic approval. 

" The Queen-Empress became the Patron of the society, 
and the Governors and Lieutenant-Governors of the various 
Provinces were nominated Vice-Patrons ; while other sub- 
scribers, according to the amount of their subscriptions, 
were designated life councillors, life members, or ordinary 
members." Money was obtained with facility and speed, and 
" The Countess of Dufferin Fund " assumed such satisfactory 
proportions that the enterprise had not to suffer from the 
checks and difficulties with which most philanthropical under- 

Work in British Colonies and the East. 355 

takings have to contend, their beginnings being usually on a 
small scale. It was arranged that " the general affairs of the 
association should be managed by a central committee, and 
branches were formed at Madras, Bombay, the Punjab, the 
North-Western Provinces, Burmah, the Central Provinces, 
Bengal, and Mysore. Each branch is, for all financial and 
executive purposes, entirely independent, and each one has 
its own fund, named, as is the central one, after the founder. 
With regard to medical tuition, it was at once determined to 
make use of existing institutions, and to give grants in aid 
to the medical schools all over the country rather than to 
establish a new female college ; at Calcutta, Lahore, Bombay, 
Agra, and Madras female medical education has been carried 
on with great success, native, Eurasian, and European pupils 
attending either in mixed or separate classes as may be 
arranged by the authorities of the schools." 

In 1891 there were 224 European and native ladies under 
medical instruction. Of these, seventy-three were training 
as assistant surgeons, eighty-eight as hospital assistants, and 
sixty-three as nurses and dhais. "With regard to medical 
relief, the operations of the fund have gradually extended 
throughout the whole continent of India. The report of 
1891 states that upwards of 1,200,000 rupees had been spent 
on the erection of female hospitals and dispensaries ; that 
there are now forty-eight hospitals in connection with 
the fund, and that 466,000 women had been attended in 
them. Twelve lady doctors with English qualifications, 
thirty-two assistant surgeons, and twenty-nine female practi- 
tioners are now working under the National Association. 
Lady Dufferin considered the teaching of midwifery and the 
supply of trained dhais to be of urgent importance, and 
classes for the instruction of these women were established 
wherever possible. Trained nurses were also sent to various 
districts to work amongst the native women. This work has 
been specially successful in Burmah, where the women have 
proved most apt pupils." 

The royal and the maternal-hearted injunction laid by 
Queen Victoria upon the wife of the Viceroy of India, has, 
therefore, produced results whose sum will go on increasing 
with every year, and which will exercise influence in ways 

356 Woman's Mission. 

that seem to have no direct connection with the objects 
of the association, but yet are subtly linked with them. 
These results are of women's making ; the action that 
produced them was a woman's, the impulse that originated 
them was a Queen's. 

It must, however, by no means be forgotten or overlooked 
that, long before this good work was inaugurated on the 
large scale which only the powerful support afforded to 
Lady DufFerin's comprehensive scheme could have rendered 
possible, the supply of medical aid and relief to women in 
India had been a prominent feature of some of the earlier 
societies. We find in an account of the Zenana Bible 
and Medical Mission, written by its secretary, Miss Gilmore, 
some very interesting facts connected with its earliest action 
in this direction. In 1852 the society opened its Normal 
School in Calcutta, and the success of the missionary ladies 
in getting access to zenanas and being permitted to teach 
the native ladies and their children led to the extension of 
their mission to several other cities in various parts of India, 
where the children from the zenanas were induced to attend 
their day-schools. "The missionary ladies soon realized 
the great need of medical relief for the secluded women 
whose husbands and fathers preferred to see them suffer 
and die rather than allow them to be seen by a male 
physician. No sooner was the medical profession thrown 
open to women than the society hastened to avail itself of the 
privilege ; and the very first student who entered the London 
School of Medicine for Women was the late lamented Dr. 
Fanny Butler. They had previously sent out four ladies 
carefully trained in nursing." The society has now built two 
hospitals one at Lucknow, the other at Benares ; it has five 
fully qualified medical ladies at work in these stations, and 
five more training at the London School of Medicine for 
Women. The society proposes to begin medical work among 
the women in Jaffna, in North Ceylon, where it is intended to 
build a Hospital for Women, for which the money is promised 
by friends in America. During the year 1891 the number of 
patients in the society's hospitals was 343 ; that of out- 
patients was 8179, while 382 were attended in their zenanas, 
and the attendances at the dispensaries amounted to 24,387. 

Work in British Colonies and the East. 357 

It is most satisfactory to learn, as we do from Lady 
Duflferin, that no friction exists between the National 
Association for Supplying Female Medical Aid to the 
Women of India, and the other Medical Missions. Taking 
the " great deal of humanity in human nature " into account, 
this affords a welcome proof of the sincerity and loftiness 
of the motives by which the philanthropic workers in our 
Indian Empire are inspired and sustained. 

Under the Methodist New Connexion Missionary Society, 
women, both English and Chinese, are doing good educational 
work in North China, where Mrs. Innocent is president of the 
Girls' School and the women's work at Shantung. This 
woman's work includes medical care and nursing, and the 
long list of native ladies enrolled among the voluntary 
workers gives a more vivid idea of the progress of this mission 
than the dry detail of figures. In his report Mr, Innocent 
states that " a system of musical notation for singing has been 
introduced. It is an adaptation of the 'Tonic Sol Fa 'to the 
Chinese, by which they learn to sing from the notes." This 
is a woman's work, and a class, conducted by its author, Mrs. 
Richardson, and consisting of all the students and pupils of 
the Girls' School, is held at the Training School. Native 
ladies are actively assisting in the missionary work in the 
villages which is carried on by the native agents. 

The Ladies' Association for the Promotion of Female 
Education among the Heathen is in the twenty-eighth year of 
its existence, and its report for 1891, in addition] to a goodly 
sum of work in all the branches of its enterprise in India, 
where its objects are practically identical with those of the 
Zenana Society, records the proceedings of the society's 
delegates in Japan, with the opening of a Girls' School at 
Kobe, the progress of the mission in North China this is 
slow at Peking the condition of the Girls' and Infant Schools 
in Madagascar, and the general work in South Africa. 
Although this report is not altogether satisfactory, the vast 
extension of the society's field of labour rendering its need of 
funds and workers more and more pressing, it is valuable as 
evidence of how, and where, all over the world women are 
working for the good of the human race, undeterred, undis- 
mayed, recruiting their ranks as death and removals cause 

358 Woman s Mission. 

gaps in them ; women of various position and origin, of all 
creeds, of many nations, a great army, but ever needing 
accessions to its forces for the never-ending conflict with 
ignorance and want, abroad and at home. 

Turning from the Eastern land which is so important to 
England as her greatest Dependency and her most sacred 
charge in the sense of her non-insular Christian and philan- 
thropic obligations, to Palestine, which is, as our Lord's own 
country, the very fons et origo of both, we must glance at the 
work which women are doing there. From an early period 
of this century, French philanthropy was busy in the field. 
The Societe des Dames de Nazareth, founded by the cele- 
brated Duchesse de la Rochefoucauld-Dondeauville (the 
story of her life is one of the romances of the French Revolu- 
tion), whose Eastern head-quarters are in Nazareth, established 
schools for the native Christian girls, in connection with their 
convents at Beyrout, Nazareth, Schaff-Amar, and other 
places in Palestine. At Nazareth these ladies have for many 
years had an orphanage ; this, from very small beginnings, 
has become a large and important establishment, and is under 
the patronage and protection of the Patriarch of Jerusalem. 
The workers in this field are recruited from France, where 
the Dames de Nazareth have several educational establish- 
ments, and they receive special medical training (though no 
qualified medical practitioners are among their number), 
which enables them to render valuable services to the native 
inhabitants of the remoter places in which their schools are 
situated. In Palestine, again, we find medical relief a promi- 
nent item in the philanthropic work of women. The Church 
of England Women's Missionary Association has been the 
first society to send out nurses into the villages and homes 
of Judaea and the Lebanon, where their two establishments 
are respectively situated. We are not in possession of the 
date at which this association extended its ministrations to 
Palestine; the home mission is thirty years old. The 
British Syrian Mission, founded by Mrs. Bowen-Thompson 
at Beyrout in 1860, has been unfortunate in the loss both 
of that lady and her successor and sister, Mrs. Mentor Mott, 
and is now managed from London by a committee, the 
majority of the members being ladies. The Syrian Mission 

Work in British Colonies and the East. 359 

is active and useful ; its twenty schools one of these is a 
boarding-school and training institution for native female 
teachers have 2350 pupils; Mothers' Meetings, where needle- 
work is done, and also Female Medical Mission work form 
departments of it. It is interesting to learn that schools for 
the blind of both sexes have been opened in three stations, 
where the learners are instructed in reading Dr. Moon's 
raised type, and five blind men, who on account of their blind- 
ness are admitted even to Moslem harems, are now employed 
as Scripture readers. Palestine is one of the countries which 
benefits by the work of the Illuminated Text Mission, which 
was started as a mission, owing to the great demand for illumi- 
nated texts in Oriental languages, with the kind help of Sir 
William and Lady Muir, in 1884, but had been originated 
by Miss Flatten in 1881, and worked by her for three years, 
during which the illuminated texts were sent to the Ladies' 
Church of England Zenana Mission to be used for their 
various purposes. The texts are now sent to thirteen 
societies ; four of these are worked by lady missionaries only, 
and the others employ women as "well as men, so that mention 
of this work, which is carried on by volunteers (their present 
number is two hundred), does not outstep the prescribed 
bounds of our subject. Great and small, widely recognized 
or comparatively obscure, it is all women's work in the vast 
field of humanity. 

This brief record is only a sketch for a picture it would 
need a great artist to paint, only memoranda for a history it 
would need a master-hand to write. The Philanthropic 
Work of Women all the world over is one of the great facts of 
the age. It is helping to break down those barriers of race, 
colour, and creed, which are opposed to the progress of true 
civilization and the spirit of real religion ; it is fighting on 
the side of good in that great battle with the deadly foes of 
humanity whose bugles never ring truce ; it is bringing 
stores of healing and peace to the sickness and the sorrow 
pervading the earth, and great light into its dark places of 
cruelty, oppression, and suffering. The philanthropic work 
of women is lightening the load of poverty ; it is lessening 
the degradation of ignorance ; it is enhancing the value and 

360 Woman's Mission. 

the sanctity of life ; it is vindicating the cause of Christianity 
by the deeds done in the spirit and by the sustainment of 
faith ; it is making the workers happy, and blessing those for 
whom they toil with body and mind ; it is elevating woman- 
hood, and making all countries, but especially ours, proud 
of their women ; more than all this, it is the rendering of 
" reasonable service " to Him Who has said, " Inasmuch as ye 
have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye 
have done it unto Me." 


IN response to a wish, expressed early in January, 1893, by 
the Baroness Burdett-Coutts, to the effect that she desired to 
forward statistics of " Women's Work and its Influence over 
Numbers " to Chicago, I engaged Miss Blanche Johnston to 
conduct an inquiry, authorizing her to secure reliable clerical 
assistance. A circular was drawn up and forwarded to 1 164 
institutions selected by Miss Janes and myself, as likely to 
afford the most comprehensive and satisfactory returns. 

The request being for the numbers respectively of paid 
and voluntary workers engaged in philanthropic undertakings 
in Great Britain, and approximately, for the numbers who 
had been benefited, together with some idea of the expenses 
which had been incurred these points were clearly stated in 
the circular. As might have been expected, however, they 
were by no means so clearly answered. 

1. Upwards of seven hundred and ninety returned no 

2. Others merely forwarded a report from which it required 
much time and labour to extract information, which, in many 
cases, proved meagre and inadequate. 

3. A great drawback was experienced from the insufficient 
or differing addresses given in the returns, even when these 
were filled up. On some the name of the institution was 
actually omitted, and only the address of the treasurer or 
secretary was given, while other circulars were sent back 
without any address or explanatory note whatsoever, the 
only clue being the postmark, which in localities where there 
were many institutions was little or no guide. 


Woman s Mission. 

4. About forty-two wrote notes declining to give statistics. 

In short, it has only been possible to deal with three 
hundred and ninety of these "returns ; and in order to 
judge of the size and importance of the institutions repre- 
sented by them, memoranda have been prepared and filed 
at the office of the C.C.C.,* from which the report emanates. 
From these tables the following summary has been made : 

TABLE I. The institutions applied to were classified 
under the following fourteen headings : 

applied to. 



For Children 





For Girls and Young Women 
Ladies' Associations for care of Friendless Girls... 
For Women (Rescue Work) 
Temperance Associations and Homes for Inebriates 








Benevolent Societies for Ladies, etc } 
Homes for Ladies, Governesses, etc > 
Societies for providing employment for Ladies ...j 
Hospitals, Convalescent and Nursing Homes 
Institutions for Blind, Deaf, etc 
Sisterhoods, Deaconesses, etc 
Missionary and other Societies ? 
Schools for Special Classes } 








TABLE II. The proportions of answers received to the 
respective questions in the circular are as follows : 


Giving total. 

Question I. 


Number of voluntary workers 
Number of paid workers 
Number benefited last year 
Number benefited since founda- 







Expense last year 
Expense since foundation 



It will be seen, therefore, that the statistics presented 

* I.e. the London Office of the "Central Conference Council" of the 
" National Union of Workers." 

Statistics of W omens Work. 363 

cover only about half of the area from which, if more satis- 
factorily answered, results might have been obtained ; and it 
may further be noticed that although so many of the societies 
sent in some sort of answer, yet the unevenness of these 
answers adds to the difficulty of arriving at any satisfactory 

For example, only 290 reported the number of their 
voluntary workers, and 291 (and these by no means the same 
institutions) the number of the paid workers employed by 
them ; while only 361 and 187 respectively attempted to cal- 
culate the number of persons benefited last year and pre- 
viously, and 231 and 81 also respectively estimated their 
expenses for the same period. 

Beyond these hindrances to a satisfactory report, the 
further facts should be taken into consideration : first, that 
it is an immemorial custom for women of wealth and leisure 
to devote a considerable portion of their time and substance 
to the benefit of their needier neighbours. Dating from 
feudal times, the ladies of the present century, whether wives 
or daughters of squire or parish priest, continue the rites of 
hospitality common to the castle and the hall of mediaeval 
ages. In fact, the families of almost all ministers of religion 
devote much of their time to philanthropic work, whether as 
honorary secretaries of societies, mothers' meetings, rescue and 
preventive societies, parish clubs, etc. ; besides many engaged 
in district visiting, the administration of relief, etc., etc. the 
number of these is unobtainable. Then in large diocesan 
and other societies, and even among institutions, the initia- 
tive has often also been taken by ladies who have not only 
devoted their lives and much of their property to philan- 
thropic work of the greatest value and importance, but many 
of their subordinates work in the same spirit of ungrudging 
charity. They either accept nominal payment as a matter 
of conscience, or, when not requiring it for their own main- 
tenance, return it into the exchequer of the charity for which 
they work. This is the case with many who are employed 
in the Charity Organization and University Settlements, and 
rent-collecting upon the system first adopted by Miss Octavia 
Hill. All of them, it is believed, are required to receive pay- 
ment ; but a large number not only give all their time, but 

364 Woman's Mission. 

spend, on charitable purposes, very much more than the 
amount they receive, and are practically volunteers. Similar 
instances will be found in the large number of women con- 
nected with the metropolitan charities, and the mass of the 
workhouse visiting societies, the boarding-out associations, 
evening schools and classes, and the numerous societies 
which have arisen during the last few years for teaching the 
lads in country villages brasswork and carving, and the 
girls laundry-work and cooking ; thus laying the foundation 
upon which the Government is now building up its system 
of State-aided technical education. 

In fact, almost every society of any magnitude has a large 
proportion of voluntary workers, while many of the smaller 
ones are entirely officered by ladies, who, as superintendents, 
secretaries, or matrons, give their services, occasionally for 
lodging alone, or board and lodging, and in not a few instances 
actually pay largely for the privilege of thus devoting them- 
selves, and thus practically subsidize the society for which 
they work. 

It would appear, therefore, that it is impossible to supply 
any statistics, properly so called, of the philanthropic work 
carried on by Englishwomen ; but if we venture upon the 
opinion that possibly some twenty thousand women are main- 
taining themselves as paid officials in works of philanthropic 
usefulness in England, while at least twenty times that 
number, or about half a million, are occupied more or less 
continuously and semi-professionally in similar works, the 
calculation will not be far from the truth. 

Even in this estimate, however, no allowance has been 
made for the whole army of about twenty thousand nurses, 
the work of many of whom would seem to come more under 
the head of charity than of self-interest, so small are their 
earnings ; while by only very few of the sisterhoods has any 
notice of the circular been taken. The number of women in 
all these communities may be roughly taken as about a thou- 
sand ; but, as a whole, they can hardly be considered as unpaid 
workers, for although some may pay to their community a 
larger sum than represents their expenses, yet all receive 
(or it is claimed that they do receive) maintenance through 
life, and all expenses incurred in sickness, old age, or death. 

Statistics of Women's Work. 365 

A further examination of the returns brings out some 
other points of interest, which, while showing their insufficiency 
as a guide to true statistics, will yet be of value in forming 
a correct judgment as to whether they are much above or 
below the mark. 

The enormous number of persons which are dealt with by 
the larger societies some of whom have many thousands of 
associates, these again influencing hundreds of other persons 
occasion much difficulty. Some evidently keep detailed 
accounts, and can enumerate the actual number of the quarts 
of soup, bunches of flowers, or halfpenny meals supplied 
annually ; while others, accomplishing perhaps a greater 
amount of work on a higher scale, cannot express themselves 
more definitely than by the words " many thousands," " many 
hundreds," " too many to tabulate ; " or use " groups," and 
not merely " individuals," as the unit in their calculations. 

Some indication of the more novel forms of philanthropic 
effort may also be of interest. Besides the ancient and 
universally recognized charities, in the form of feeding the 
hungry, nursing the sick, clothing and generally befriending 
the physically and spiritually destitute the benevolence of 
the Nineteenth Century includes the establishment of dis- 
pensaries, provident and friendly societies ; thousands of 
gratuitous visits to the sick in their own homes by medical 
men and nurses on the staff of charitable societies ; district 
visitors, rent-collectors, deaconesses, etc. ; the supply of 
surgical instruments, spectacles, etc., at reduced prices ; the 
boarding-out and supervision of orphans and of convalescents 
from lunatic asylums, the visiting of workhouses, police 
courts, railway stations, prisons ; the protection of the young 
while travelling, not only in Great Britain, but all over the 
world ; an enormous amount of gratuitous clerical work on 
the committee of the Charity Organization Society; the 
countless free registries, conducted on the purest philan- 
thropic principles in all our great cities; the affording of 
country air and seaside visits to thousands of the city poor ; 
a network of women's help throughout the two great services 
of the Army and Navy; and, to descend to details, the 
preparation and gift of scrap-books, flowers, sea-shells, work 
materials to the inmates of hospitals and workhouses ; while 

366 Woman 's Mission. 

the very gutter children in London are taught games in the 
recreation evening and happy Saturday afternoon missions ; 
and musical drill and glees form part of the amusement of 
girls' clubs. 

To these few remarks which I consider necessary for a 
fair judgment of the results presented by this inquiry, I beg 
to add my thanks to Miss Younghusband, Miss Johnston, 
and the other ladies on the staff of the " Gentlewoman's Em- 
ployment Club " (of which Miss Younghusband is foundress 
and honorary manager), for their able assistance in a task 
which it would have been impossible for me to accomplish 
without their aid. 

( 367 ) 


i, Stratton Street, London, W. 



The British Commissioners having done me the honour of appointing 
me the President of the British Philanthropic Section of the Woman's Auxiliary 
of the World's Columbian Exposition, to be held next year at Chicago, I am 
desirous of obtaining particulars of all philanthropic work initiated or carried on 
by women. 

The particular object of my Section is to collect concise and well-written 
reports upon all philanthropic work in which women are immediately concerned, 
or which owes its genesis or its success to their co-operation. 

May I ask if you will kindly give me any information you can as to the work 
of women in connection with the Organization of which you are the head ? 

I shall also be very glad to receive your advice as to what are, in your opinion, 
the most practical and successful philanthropic efforts that have been, or are 
being, made by women. 

May I further count on your kindly co-operation later on, to aid me in 
obtaining the best information on these important subjects ? 

I am, dear , 

Yours faithfully, 





An asterisk {^prefixed to the title of an Institution indicates that it is in connection with the 
Society for Promoting Female Welfare. The name in italics, following the title, is that of 
the writer of the typed report containing the facts on -which my note is based. B.-C. 


BRIXTON ORPHANAGE FOR GIRLS, Barrington Road, Brixton, 
London. By Mrs. Annie Montague, Foundress. With the modest 
capital of ;ioo, which was spent in furnishing a small house, this institu- 
tion opened its doors to four orphans on May ist, 18 76. It was a success 
from the first. A larger house was sooa afterwards bought, another was 
added to it, and still another ; a schoolroom and other new premises have 
since been built ; and over three hundred orphan girls are now being 
gratuitously fed, clothed, and educated. The whole of the building debt 
has been wiped out. The only paid work done outside the Home is the 
making of the uniform dresses worn by the girls. A Home for girls 
(domestic servants) changing situations has lately been opened at 51, 
Barrington Road. No better evidence of the value of the training the 
girls receive in the Home could be desired than the fa ct that several of 
them have become matrons of similar institutions. 

Bell. The work of this Association lies among the poorest children in 
London. Lady Jeune, the president, and the Misses Heather Bigg, the 
organizers, began three years ago, with one " happy evening " a week in a 
Lambeth school, and now the operations extend to twenty-seven schools 
in Central, East, West, North, and South London. " To show the children 
how to play" is, says Mrs. Bell, the main object of the Association. 
Music and dancing; skipping, lively games such as blind man's buff; 
games of skill, like chess, draughts, and dominoes ; fairy tales, and magic- 
lanterns, all have their turn. The work is carried on by a central 
council, with local committees in the various districts. The London 
School Board grants the use of its schools rent-free, and the Association 
pays the small incidental expenses, and supplies a piano and a parcel of 

2 B 

370 Appendix. 

games, dolls, pictures, beads, ropes, etc., for each locality. The attendance 
averages a hundred and fifty, two hundred, and in somecases three hundred 
children ; the expenses of working a school amount to from 12 to 14 
a year. 

Netting Hill, London. By the Lady Mary Glyn. Boys and girls of 
from eight to twelve years of age, who would otherwise be running wild 
at night in the streets, are furnished with a couple of hours' innocent 
recreation three or four nights a week, when, under the guidance of a 
dozen ladies or gentlemen, music and games are provided, while in a 
" Quiet Room " a lady recites some interesting story to those who do not 
care to actively amuse themselves. 

Two reports are given above of the work of this Association. It 
originated in the wish to give to the children of the poor some of the 
pleasures usually enjoyed by the well-to-do. The ladies who founded it 
conceived the happy idea that the schoolrooms wherein so many eager, 
restless little mortals pursue their studies by day might be made at even- 
time the scenes of innocent enjoyment, of pastimes calculated to promote 
habits of kindness and courtesy, as well as to improve, both in mind and 
body, the ill-fed scantily-clothed children from joyless, perhaps vicious, 
homes. The benevolent attempt has met with well-merited success. 
Lady Mary Carr Glyn seems to have been struck with the bright eager 
faces of the young merry-makers, and the perfect discipline and good- 
fellowship between them and those striving to entertain them. " In 
manner and voice," she remarks, "the children compared favourably with 
many brought up in better homes. I saw no romping or rough play. . . . 
I can hear the merry laughter of the children now as we held a skipping- 
rope ; it rang out again and again from all except the solemn earnest 
little skipper who was trying to beat the record. The dancing was 
enthusiastically begun, and the three rooms were all in light and motion." 

St. Leonard's. By Mrs. A. Harrison. Started solely by Miss Giesler, 
in 1889, to give poor London children good food, sea air, and kindly 
attention when out of health, this Institution is now conferring its 
benefits on eight hundred children annually. It is carried on entirely by 
women. Habits of thrift and cleanliness are taught, which often lead to 
a desire for a better home life. Miss Harrison, who has been engaged 
in infirmaries at Marylebone and Whitechapel, and in workhouses, is 
herself a living example of the usefulness of women's work in England. 

Place, Brighton. By Miss E. S. Elliott. Here children under twelve 
years pay 6s. 6d., and over that age 8s. a week. " Family life" is the 
guiding principle of the internal economy. The Home was established 
in 1880, as a branch of the London and Brighton (Kemp Town) Invalid 

THE CRECHE SYSTEM. By Marie Hilton. The first Creche in 
England was established thirty years ago, by Mrs. Hilton, at Ratcliffe, 

Appendix. 3 y i 

East London. It was and is a squalid and destitute district, one of the 
saddest features of which was the neglected condition of the children. 
Mothers, even the best, were lamentably ignorant ; and it was not un- 
common for children of the tenderest years to share the meal with their 
parents, " even to the extent of beer and shell-fish." But above all, 
children suffered from the necessity that the mothers should go out to 
work, leaving their infants at home locked up for hours in a room, without 
food or fire. A day nursery was accordingly founded on the principle of 
the Creche (Manger) at Brussels. Ten infants and fifteen young children 
were admitted the first week, many of them in a deplorable condition, 
one of them, four years old, " pouring forth such fearful oaths " that he 
had to be refused. The work rapidly increased, and at the end of a year 
the average attendance was sixty-five. A charge was made of a penny per 
day, and while this is thought by some to be too low a rate, it must be 
remembered that the wages earned by the mothers are extremely small, 
and that very often the women care little whether their children are at the 
Creche or in the streets. In the Babes' Room, at Mrs. Hilton's Creche, 
in Stepney Causeway, snowy nautilus cots are ranged along the walls. 
In the lower Day Nursery are assembled the elder children (three and 
four years old), rows of tiny armchairs being provided for them, as well 
as swings, toys, and pictures. A similar Home was founded some years 
ago on this model in Buffalo, U.S.A., and useful instructions, suggested 
by her own experience, are given by Mrs. Hilton to those who would 
carry the work elsewhere. She " looks forward confidently " to the time 
when no large town will be without its Creche, and sees " a glorious work 
for the mothers and daughters of this country in caring for the helpless 
and neglected children in our great cities ; for this is a work which cannot 
be left to boards and organizations." 

Margate. By Mrs. Kirk. This Institution was founded, in 1862, for 
children under twelve years of age. The paper states, " The experi- 
ence of upwards of thirty years has shown that many diseases of 
the limbs and spine may be cured if taken at an early age." Surgical 
and medical aid is given gratuitously. There are forty-six children who 
are educated in the Home. 

The work of providing dinners for destitute school children was origi- 
nated, in 1863, by the late Baroness Mayer de Rothschild, and was an 
adaptation of a scheme set in operation in Guernsey, by Victor Hugo. 
The experiment was first tried in Westminster, and, proving successful, 
a public appeal for funds led to its extension in many other districts of 
London. One of the rules has always been that, in the dinner of each 
child, in addition to potatoes, rice, barley, or bread, there should be not 
less than \ Ib. of meat. The Earl of Shaftesbury was for many years 
president. There are now seventy dining-rooms, providing over three 
hundred thousand dinners annually. A trifling charge of a halfpenny or 
a penny is made, but is remitted in cases of absolute poverty. As yet the 
medical rule of this Society has not been sufficiently recognized elsewhere ; 

372 Appendix. 

the necessary portion of meat meaning some increase of cost. But, how- 
ever desirable soup and other articles of food may be in addition or as 
makeshifts, a certain portion of meat is required for the proper growth of 
a child. Under the bad atmospheric conditions of many of the schools, 
and the great brain-pressure of the educational requirements of our time, 
this question becomes of increased and increasing importance. 

HOMES. For nearly twenty years the actual work of training the chil- 
dren in these Institutions has been committed to women. For the most 
part they are women of good education, belonging to the middle classes 
of society. In some instances they are able to give their services 
gratuitously ; in no case does the allowance more than cover necessary 
expenses. These teachers form a sisterhood, known as " The Sisters of 
the Children." No vows are taken, but a regular probation is served. 

There are also, in connection with the Wesleyan Methodist Church, 
several other Associations of women for work of a charitable and mis- 
sionary character. In some instances these sisterhoods are associated 
with a particular missionary enterprise, like the West Central Mission 
and the East End Mission. An order of Deaconesses has also been 
established, for undertaking philanthropic and spiritual work in every 
part of this country or abroad. These ladies are of good education, not 
under twenty-three years of age, and of high Christian character. They 
receive a course of training in medical nursing and in biblical teaching, 
and are known as the "Wesley Deaconesses." Altogether there are 
about 150 women belonging to these sisterhoods or orders. 

HEADINGLEY ORPHAN HOMES, Leeds. The entire management is 
in the hands of one lady. The late Mrs. Williamson, wife of the then 
Incumbent of Headingley, founded the Home, in 1860, with eight children, 
in a small rented house. There are now from eighty to ninety children 
in four houses three for girls, and one for boys. The girls are fitted for 
domestic service ; some of the boys have been sent to Canada under 
good care, and promise to do well. 

unconsidered trifles of humanity as the child-vendors of matches and 
newspapers are cared for by the managers of this shelter, who, in 1890, 
opened a shop to supply the little street-traders with their merchandise, 
providing at the same time a dining-room and shelter for their use. 
Overcrowding led to a migration to larger premises in Boar Lane and 
Briggate, where there is a shop, sleeping accommodation for twenty-five, 
and a dining-hall and play-room, in which about seventy children have 
dinner and tea every day. In addition to the payments made by the 
children, nearly ,300 per annum is spent in this work. The experience 
of the author of this paper tends to show that the demand which is often 
made for legislative interference in the direction of controlling, if not of 
suppressing entirely, the sale of articles in the street by girls of tender 
age, is a just one. " It has been found, practically," she says, " that 
selling in the streets by girls means almost without exception their ruin. 

Appendix. 373 

. . . When once a girl is taken into the Shelter, she is never allowed to sell 
in the streets ; and it is certainly a good symptom that a very short stay 
in the Rescue destroys their power of selling, or, as they describe it, 
' takes away the cheek.' As to the boys, if they are properly clothed 
and cared for, street labour is not more injurious than any other." Many 
of the lads, it seems, refuse to wear good clothes when provided with 
them. The reason is not far to seek rags and tatters conduce to a brisk 
trade by exciting public sympathy. 

HOME FOR FEMALE ORPHANS, Grove Road, St. John's Wood, 
London. This Home was established as far back as 1786. The girls 
are maintained, clothed, and educated. They are admitted between the 
ages of six and eleven, and at sixteen are provided with a good outfit and 
placed in service. The Home being well known as an excellent training- 
school, no difficulty is experienced in finding good situations for the 
girls, of whom about 870 are maintained at a cost of 21 per annum 
each. This is a home, not only in name, but in reality. Such is the 
strength of the home feeling implanted in the children that feeling 
which is at the root of the national welfare that at the annual gathering 
of old scholars, great-grandmothers are sometimes present with their 

* HOME FOR INVALID CHILDREN, 70, Montpelier Road, Brighton. 
The late Miss Elizabeth Ann Freeman arranged, in her own house and 
at her own expense, a nursery for the reception of four children, and in 
six years no fewer than 330 little sufferers were voluntarily cared for in 
the seaside home of this generous lady. Helped on by charitable 
friends, Miss Freeman greatly extended her good work, and in a report 
published in 1890 only two months before her death she was able to 
say that 2945 invalid children had found rest and restorative treatment 
in her Home. Free patients are no longer received ; a charge of Ss. 
per week being made for children under fourteen, and of io.y. for older 
children. The Home is constantly full ; but the subscriptions have 
shrunk very much since the death of Miss Freeman, who endowed it 
with ^2000. 

HOME FOR ORPHAN GIRLS, Babbicombe, Torquay. By the late 
Miss Erskine, Foundress. From a Home for two girls, in 1863, this 
Institution had, by 1875, grown large enough to accommodate fifty-two. 
In 1874 it was placed under Government inspection, being the first 
orphanage to take that important step. Of the 208 children who have 
passed through it, the majority have become domestic servants either in 
England or the colonies. Orphans are received free ; but 12 a year 
must be paid for children who have one parent. In 1892 there were 
fifty-two children in the Home. The yearly expenditure varies from 
^650 to ^700; and it is often only after a severe struggle that the 
needful amount is raised by subscriptions, sales of work, and other 
means. A melancholy interest attaches to this report, Miss Erskine, the 
writer, having died since she sent it to me. Some brief particulars of the 
career of a few of the orphans are worthy of note. One, a little lame 
girl, became a^ most successful Board School mistress ; another, a work- 

374 Appendix. 

house girl, went to service in 1870, and in two situations saved ^100 ; a 
third, found exposed in the snow in an eastern county, proceeded to 
service in South Africa on leaving the Home, married a prosperous 
farmer there. 

London. By Miss Macpherson, In a report of more than usual interest, 
Miss Macpherson traces the rise and progress of her important work 
among the East London poor. At the outset she confined her attentions 
to the wretched girls employed in making match-boxes. , For the utterly 
destitute a large warehouse in Commercial Street was rented as a 
Sheltering Home, while work at their trade was given to hundreds of 
others in their own rooms. The manufacture of match-boxes has since 
been given up, but a staff of Christian ladies still visit the various factories 
in which young women and girls work. A large hall has also been fitted, 
where, in the evening, they are taught reading, writing, sewing, dress- 
making, and cooking. There are, too, week-day Bible-classes and Sunday 
schools in connection with the work. Several members of Miss Mac- 
pherson's family joined her in the early days of the work, and then the 
brothers of the match-box girls shoe-blacks, hawkers, beggars, thieves 
were gathered in from the streets, taught and trained, and sent out to earn 
their living on farms in Canada. The first batch of one hundred was 
shipped in 18^0, and since then the old boys have shown their gratitude 
by contributing more than ^1000 to help on the movement. Altogether 
5730 boys and girls have emigrated from this Bethnal Green Home, and 
many widowed mothers and other relatives have been sent out to join 
them. The scheme now embraces four freehold houses a Receiving Home, 
and a Training Home in England, a Distributing Home in Ontario, and a 
Farm Home in Manitoba. " The means for carrying on the work," says 
Miss Macpherson, "have come in answer to prayer. There is no adver- 
tising for money." As to the fate of her emigrants, Miss Macpherson 
writes, " About one thousand are married, several hundreds have become 
tradesmen, while the larger number are working with farmers or have 
farms of their own. The little ones, in very many cases, were adopted and 
reared as children of the family. In some cases the excellent system of 
Canadian education developed intellectual gifts, and our boys have become 
clergymen and ministers, missionaries, and lawyers." That Miss Mac- 
pherson has not spared herself in labouring for the welfare of her waifs 
and strays is evident from the fact that she has crossed the Atlantic no less 
than fifty times on their behalf. 

HOMES OF REST, Addiscombe. By Louisa, Lady Ashburton. There 
are now three " Homes of Rest" on Lady Ashburton's Addiscombe pro- 
pertyone for children, another for adults, and a third " Dove Cot " for 
mothers with babies. These come to them looking pale and weary, and 
return, after a fortnight's stay among the Surrey hills, strong and cheerful. 
Since the first of the Homes was opened, many such institutions have been 
established elsewhere. At Addiscombe there are three " Prophet's Cham- 
bers," used by over-tired missionaries and lady workers in London. There 
are also two iron buildings, in one of which prayers and evening lectures 

Appendix. 375 

are held ; and in the other, servant-girls, employed during the day at the 
numerous little villas around, are lodged at night, and taught as much as 
possible. The report points with great force what wide and differing 
manners of working for one end are typed in the parables of the sower 
casting his seed, and that of the man who built his house on a rock. The 
one inculcates stability and full consideration of the end ; the other trusts 
to many influences and accepts uncertainty. Both aspects of work find 
union in the one object of leaving the world better and brighter than one 
found it the aim of this and other Homes of Rest. 

MISSION WORK, Albert Docks, London. By Louisa, Lady Ashburton. 
In addition to her work at Addiscombe, Lady Ashburton has established 
at the Albert Docks a Mission Home, in which there are beds for thirty 
or more seamen and others, and a hall which will hold six hundred for 
meetings. The staff includes a superintendent, a " mission lady," who is 
a good doctor, and a teacher who has charge of a Sunday school of about 
twelve hundred children. Besides the Home there are also eating- 
houses at the Albert and Central Docks, one of which was formerly a 

* INDUSTRIAL HOME FOR GIRLS, 125, Sloane Street, London. 
Founded in 1856, this is a Church of England Home, in which fifty 
girls are trained for domestic service at a cost of 15 a year each. At 
the age of sixteen situations are found for them. 

By Miss A. F. Leather. The enormous amount of suffering, really pre- 
ventible, to be seen among children in large cities led to the formation of 
this Society, which endeavours to cure or alleviate their pain. A lady 
representative in each district of London has a general acquaintance with 
all invalid children in that district. As each case arises, she hands it over 
to the personal care of a volunteer visitor, who becomes the " friend " of 
the child, and carefully watches over it. Any suggestions made by her 
are passed, through the district "representative, to the central committee, 
which is intended to constitute a point of union and co-operation for 
charitable workers ; and, where advisable, the suggestion is adopted. 
Surgical appliances are supplied, special nurses are sent out, and minor 
comforts provided. Children are also sent by the Association to Con- 
valescent Homes. 

DREN, Epsom. By Miss S. E. Macgrath. This work was originated by 
Miss D. Mittendorff, in 1868, and was then conducted at Kilburn, London. 
It was intended as a " Happy Home for Children." It always has been 
and is still carried on without debt. Children are received up to the age 
of eight years, and remain till they are sixteen or seventeen. The 
Home accommodates seventy-five children, who are generally trained for 
service. Several touching anecdotes are given, showing how difficulties 
have been overcome or averted. 

Kilburn, London. By Mrs. Parry. The late Miss Mary Ann Cole under- 

376 Appendix. 

took, about twenty-seven years ago, to care for, train, and teach two orphan 
children. From this comparatively small beginning the Home has grown 
until it now holds over a hundred orphans, while 597 have passed through 
it. The girls are taught all kinds of housework, and placed in domestic 
service. Many are admitted free, but a small payment is made for others. 
The work is undenominational, and there is no voting. Since Miss Cole's 
death, in 1887, her cousin, Mrs. Parry, has managed the establishment. 

Lamington. It was in August, 1886, that this organization began its work, 
and before the close of the summer sixty children had spent a week by 
the sea. In 1891, 360 children were afforded a fortnight's seaside 
holiday. The work is carried out by a committee composed chiefly 
of ladies. 

* ORPHAN TRAINING-HOME, Wolverhampton. By Mrs. Mander. 
This work was begun by a lady in 1862, as a Home for girls taken from 
the workhouse where the association of women and children was, she 
felt, " fatal to any advancement in purity and goodness." Her wish 
was that they should always regard this as a " home," and in after-years 
report their welfare. A lady on the committee erected the present build- 
ing at a cost of ,2000. 

* ORPHAN HOME, Austral Street, West Square, London, S.E. Over 
a thousand children have been admitted to this Home, although it 
started in 1867 with only ten children in a small partly furnished house. 
Now 220 orphans are tended in a building erected at a cost of ,21,500, 
while there is a branch for forty children at Gravesend, and another branch 
at Tunbridge Wells. " No voting, no begging, no debt," are the watch- 
words of the Institution. Each child costs 15 a year. If possible, they 
are taken for a fortnight to the seaside every year. 

* ST. AGATHA'S HOME, Bartlow, Cambridgeshire. By Louisa 
Stulfield. During the eight years of its existence, this Home has sheltered 
twenty-six children. Good accounts are received of the majority of those 
who have gone out to service. 

ST. ANDREW'S ORPHAN HOME. By Miss Maclnnes. This is a 
Home for girls rescued from the perils of street life, and was started on 
St. Andrew's Day, 1866. The children go to the parish schools, and 
remain there until they have passed the sixth standard. Then after a 
year or two spent in domestic training, they pass into service. They come 
" home " for holidays, for rest, for nursing in sickness, and in case of failure. 
In time some of them marry and settle down in homes of their own. After 
an experience of more than twenty-five years, those who embarked upon 
the experiment feel that their most sanguine expectations have been 
more than realized. Miss Maclnnes, Fern Lodge, Hampstead Heath, 
London, will gladly correspond with those who would like to undertake 
similar work. 

ST. CHAD'S CHILDREN'S HOME, Headingley, Leeds. One of the 
Church of England Central Society's Homes for Waifs and Strays. 

Appendix. 377 

Many of the children are sent abroad under proper care, others are taught 
a trade or trained for domestic service, and those who are lame, weak, 
or deformed earn a living in the Home by knitting stockings by hand- 
machines. Twenty-three of these machines are used, and as many as 
ninety pairs of socks and stockings have been made in a single day, the 
greatest number made in a week being four hundred. From thirty to 
forty girls are engaged in this work ; in 1890 the sale of their produce 
realized ^1075, and in 1891 1166. Many distressing details of the 
miserable life from which these girls were rescued are given in the 
report, with a pleasing companion picture of the useful, contented lives 
they lead in the Home. 

ST. JOHN'S HOME, Brighton. By Miss Borradaile, Foundress. 
Founded in 1875, the Home was at first intended only for convalescent 
children, but afterwards crippled or delicate children who require years 
of nursing were admitted. The housework is done by girls, who are 
trained for domestic service, a lady being at the head of each department. 
The Home accommodates between fifty and sixty children, as well as 
fifteen serving-girls and eight lady workers. 

ST. JUDE'S HOME, Chelsea. This Home was instituted in 1862, 
and its object is to take in homeless girls from the age of six, and train 
them for domestic service. The foundress of the Home was Mrs. 
Farrer, and until her decease she was its mainstay. On her death, Mrs. 
Agnew undertook the supervision of the Home. Most of the children 
received are orphans. At the age of sixteen they are placed out in 
suitable situations. They are not lost sight of, however, and every two 
years there is a gathering of " old scholars." 

ST. MONICA'S HOME HOSPITAL, Brondesbury Park, London, N.W. 
By Miss Marshall, Children suffering from diseases requiring surgical 
treatment for a longer time than they would be allowed to stay in general 
hospitals are received here, kept as long as treatment will benefit them, 
and educated as much as possible. Several have been enabled to earn 
a living. There are now forty children in the Home, which was founded 
with eight, in 1874, by Miss Marshall and Miss C. Stewart Forster. Six 
or seven beds are free, but in the majority of cases $s. 6d. per week is 
charged. A bed costs ;i2 a-year. Mrs. Hodgson Burnett has endowed 
one in memory of her son. A larger subscription list is much needed. 
The nurses, who receive two years' training, usually contribute i is. 
a week. A weekly service is held by a clergyman in a small chapel in 
the house, which has been beautified by the gifts of many friends. 

SANTA CLAUS SOCIETY AND HOME, Highgate. By Miss Charles. 
This Society, in 1885, began sending toys at the Christmas season to the 
children in hospitals, the gifts being distributed by members. Afterwards 
similar gifts were provided for adults, and then, as it was felt " it was a 
pity that Santa Claus should sleep all the summer," a plan was devised 
for providing patients with letters of admission to convalescent homes. 
Eventually the Society started such a Home of its own at Highgate, for 
t he benefit of little children suffering from spinal and hip diseases, for 


whom other homes were rarely available ; and most touching and 
pathetic are the stories told of the sayings and doings of the little 
inmates. " The children nearly all love to imagine and talk of the wonders 
and mysteries of the life to come, and the strange thing is they always 
picture themselves ' waiting in heaven for mother.' They take it quite 
for granted that they will die first. . . . They delight to talk of Santa 
Claus. The cots nearest the fireplace are greatly valued, as being nearest 
when he will come down the chimney." 

By Miss E. F. Howard. Mrs. Parsons began this work twenty-five 
years ago, in her own home, but two years back it was placed under the 
management of a ladies' committee, with Mrs. Parsons as superintendent. 
Supported by voluntary contributions, it does a quiet but useful work in 
receiving little girls from homes of poverty and misery, and preparing 
them to maintain themselves as domestic servants. Only in a few 
special cases are the children admitted entirely free. There are generally 
over thirty inmates. 



ART STUDENTS' HOME, Brunswick Square, London. By Lady White 
Cooper. Lady Eastlake, when in Rome with her distinguished husband, 
then President of the Royal Academy, had observed with pain the circum- 
stances in which the students there were almost forced to live. This 
turned her attention, as it had done that of Miss Louisa Twining, to a 
consideration of the fact that, while young people, and especially girls, 
were drawn to London by the great advantages offered there by the State 
and other educational bodies, no provision was made for their residence 
or for their protection. The Royal Academy of Music did something in 
this direction for its students ; but with that exception there was no such 
accommodation till this Home was started in 1879, when I purchased 
the house in Brunswick Square, and furnished it for the purpose. The 
Home is managed by a committee of ladies. Fifteen students were at 
first received, and were enabled to live surrounded by something re- 
sembling the comforts of home and family life, and with the aid and 
counsel of an experienced lady-resident. It was enlarged the following 
year. The students pay for the accommodation provided, for it is in- 
tended to be nothing more than the name implies, viz. a Home for those 
who must live out of a parent's care. It is not a school, and those 
who are its inmates are in many ways their own mistresses, with occupa- 
tions and friends of their own, and generally it might be said always 
too earnest and thorough in their work to be easily turned aside to waste 
their time. Besides the establishment of many similar but larger insti- 
tutions, one good and unexpected result has been that a system of suitable 
lodging-homes has sprung up around this Institution, to which its principal 
has been able to recommend parents to send their girls. This suggests 

Appendix. 379 

a congenial sphere of occupation, and one capable of promoting much 
invaluable work of a quiet kind, for delicate women. To many an active 
mind the employment with an object and interest would be a boon ; 
while such a woman's influence on those of the age of these students would 
be invaluable. 

don, E. By the Viscountess Clifden. A lodging has here been provided 
by Viscountess Clifden for about twelve factory-girls, and is especially 
intended for those employed in the match works of Messrs. Bryant and 
May. A restaurant, club-room, and class-rooms are also attached to the 
Home, which is connected with the Young Women's Christian Associ- 
ation. Last year 25,000 dinners, 8000 teas, and 1500 Saturday break- 
fasts were served. At the evening classes 5400 attendances were 
registered. Bible-classes and prayer-meetings, temperance, singing, 
musical drill and drawing classes are held, and a penny bank has been 
established. It would be impossible to overrate the benefit of such an 
effort on behalf of young girls situated as these were, living togeth er as 
they must in factories, and bound in one narrow round of thought and 
employment. It is essential to the true development of young life that 
they should acquire larger ideas and higher principles of conduct which 
the sympathy and experience of those directing this work can give them, 
but which rarely exist in their own immediate circle. 

Salop. By Miss M. E. Eyton. The Homa trains girls as domestic 
servants, previous to their emigrating to the colonies, for which life 
special instruction is necessary. Washing and ironing, dairy-work, the 
care of poultry, cooking, sewing, and dressm iking, are taught. Many 
children from workhouses are adopted by Canadian foster-parents, and 
are being sent out by the United British Women's Emigration Associ- 
ation, with which body this Training-Home is connected. Paying pupils 
are also taken. 

bone Road, London. By C. M. Wellesley. The Cripples' Home was 
founded in 1851, for crippled and industrial girls over twelve years of age. 
The crippled girls are taught to make straw hats, bonnets, baskets, and 
to do embroidery, plain needlework, and dressmaking. After three years 
the cripples and the industrial girls the latter are taught housework are 
generally placed out. In the Home and School there are 113 inmates, 
and "it is estimated," says this paper, "that there are 150,000 poor 
cripples unprovided for in Great Britain." 

DARLINGTON GIRLS' CLUB, Darlington. By Mrs. Fothergill. This 
report mentions several useful works carried on by women at Darlington. 
The Girls' Club is open several nights a week, and young ladies attend 
in turn to entertain the mill-girls, and teach them needlework, singing, 
cooking, and other things. The Darlington Ladies' Temperance Associ- 
ation is forty years old. There is an Orphan Home at Cockerton, near 
Darlington, which was originated and supported by Mrs. Henry Pease ; 

380 Appendix. 

a Training-Home in Darlington, managed by Mrs. J. B. Hodgkin ; and 
a large Convalescent Home at Saltburn, maintained by ladies of the 
Pease family. Miss Fothergill, who commenced her charitable work in 
Darlington twenty years ago, among other things carries on a mission 
among the Zulu Kaffirs, which is known as the Rock Fountain Mission. 

* FACTORY HELPERS' UNION, i6a, Old Cavendish Street, London, 
W. By the Lady Kinnaird. Established in 1886, under the auspices 
of the Y.W.C.A., to promote the moral and spiritual welfare of factory 
and working girls. The eight departments into which the work is divided 
are: (i) weekly visits by ladies to factories and laundries; (2) eight 
evening homes and institutes, in one of which there is a restaurant ; 
(3) a total abstainers' union ; (4) a flower mission ; (5) an odd-minute 
society, for making clothes ; (6) a letter mission, for keeping up a cor- 
respondence with the girls ; (7) a convalescent, sick aid, and holiday 
department ; (8) a department for receiving and distributing cast-off 
garments. There are sixty-one of these missions in London, and seven- 
teen in the provinces, under the same central committee. 

THE FLOWER-GIRLS' MISSION. By Lady Henderson. This is 
specially a work for women by women. It was, however, started in 1886, 
by Mr. Groom, who organized some classes for the benefit of flower- 
sellers. A few ladies taught the girls reading and sewing in a room near 
Covent Garden, and in time a free evening school and a penny bank were 
started. In 1879 I organized the Flower Girls' Brigade for flower-sellers 
between the ages of thirteen and fifteen, and arranged that they should 
have special stations where they could safely carry on their trade. An 
artificial flower-factory was also opened, and in a shelter close by the girls 
are taught sewing, cooking, etc. A few years ago a Flower-Girl Guild 
was started, under the patronage of the Princess of Wales, for honest and 
sober girls. Rooms are provided for rest and refreshment, and evening 
classes and entertainments given. By means of the " Emily Loan Fund," 
instituted in memory of Emily, Countess of Shaftesbury, loans of potato- 
ovens, coffee-stands, etc., are made to the women in winter. 

CLUBS FOR WORKING GIRLS. By the Hon. Maude Stanley. 
This lady furnished me with an excellent report, the points of which 
have been embodied in the Congress paper she has written for this 

THE GIRLS' FRIENDLY SOCIETY. By Mrs. Toivnsend.lhis is a 
most interesting and comprehensive report, and in a short note of this 
kind an outline of the important work this Society has done and is doing 
must necessarily be meagre. Its objects are : (i) "To band together in 
one Society ladies as associates, and girls and young women as members, 
for mutual help (religious and secular), for sympathy, and prayer ; (2) to 
encourage purity of life, dutifulness to parents, faithfulness to employers, 
temperance and thrift ; (3) to provide the privileges of the Society for its 
members wherever they may be, by giving them an introduction from one 
branch to another." The central rules require that associates should 
belong to the Church of England, and members (who are not so restricted) 

Appendix. 381 

must bear a good character. The Society was started in 1875. By a 
plan set on foot in 1882, the various societies in Great Britain, America, 
and the Colonies were federated, and are practically governed by the 
same rules. In 1891 there were 1126 branches, 29,362 associates, 137,350 
members, and 35,342 candidates. The Society supports a monthly 
journal and two magazines, and useful literature is distributed through 
all the branches. The work of the sick members' department is specially 
interesting. The Society releases friendless children from the grasp of 
pauperism three thousand candidates having been taken from work- 
houses and orphanages. The emigration department is one which touches 
and reaches beyond the national life ; and by bringing the different ranks 
and grades into touch with one another, it also helps to raise the standard 
of womanhood. In fact, the many useful agencies at work in connection 
with this valuable Society are such as to entitle it to a foremost place 
among the institutions that are directed by women for the benefit of 
their own sex. Like the Y.W. C.A., this Society befriends the young 
women when they first go into the world to fight their way. One of its 
most interesting features is that some member of the Society undertakes 
the care of a young girl who is willing to become a member of the 
Association and conform to its rules. Although it must have far exceeded 
what its founders would have considered the limit of possibilities, yet it 
was conceived on a large scale, and it was intended to embrace and cover 
a large area. This intention is rather strikingly illustrated by the rule 
providing for the admission of very young children with their parents' 
consent on the roll of the Society. They are immediately placed under 
the care of some one who may in a sense be called their foster-mother, 
and the influence for good upon both charges and guardians can scarcely 
be over-estimated. 

OTHER HOSPITALS. Mrs. Milman writes of pleasant coincidences within 
her own experience, which have opened the way for talks about home, 
opportunities of showing appreciation of past kindness, and of peeping 
behind the scenes at unobtrusive goodness. It is indeed gratifying to 
find those who have been inmates of hospitals, and those who have 
had relatives in hospitals, remembering other patients and forwarding 
them flowers or money for flowers, and visiting them. Lady visitors, 
too, on their side, frequently follow up discharged cases, and Mrs. Milman 
recalls cases of this kind in which the lady visitors have indeed filled the 
part of the good Samaritan. 

GIRLS' LETTER GUILD, Leeds. By Miss Porter. The original 
Girls' Letter Guild was begun by Miss Kenward, at Birmingham, in 
November, 1889 ; it has now a membership of two thousand. The Leeds 
centre, started by Miss Porter, in 1889, numbers eight hundred girls. A 
third centre was established in Washington, U.S.A., in 1892, by Miss 
F. Wadleigh. The object of the Guild is to bring cultured Christian 
ladies into correspondence with factory and mill girls. Each lady writes 
to one or more girls once a month, on such interesting and practical 
subjects as dress, health, and amusement. The girls value the letters 

382 Appendix. 

highly, and seldom fail to answer them. A Home of Rest, at Woolacombe 
Bay, Devon, has been given to the Guild by Miss Rosalie Chichester. 
Some of the older girls become associates or helpers. " Ladies of 
all Christian denominations," says the report, " are welcomed as 

Mrs. Stephen Menzies. Connected with the Y.W.C.A., this Institution 
was founded, in 1883, at a cost of ^9000. The boarding-house consists of 
eighty rooms, which are let to women engaged in business. The charge 
for bedrooms is from 4^. to 6.y. per week ; and for meals from 5^. to g</. 
each. Religious meetings and educational classes are held in the hall, 
the average attendance being between seven and eight hundred weekly. 
About nine thousand young women are included in the Letter Mission, 
and a Travellers' Aid Department is carried on for the benefit of strangers 
in Liverpool. The Liverpool Deaconess House adjoining the Gordon 
Hall trains thirty deaconesses, chiefly for missionary societies. 

* HALSTEAD INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL. By Miss Grimwood, Foundress. 
This School was established in 1868, and certified in 1869 under the 
Industrial School Act, 1866. Its object is to check the evil influence of 
bad parents upon their children. Nearly four hundred children have 
been admitted since March, 1869. There are seventy girls in the Home, 
one hundred are in service, fifty are married, and some are in good 
positions at " day work." 

Warwick Square, London, S.W. By Miss Florence Bradshaw. This 
organization is described in the report as " a circle of workers who have 
formed themselves as a kind of ring round the dark centre into which 
others penetrate, and who, by their sympathy, support, and encourage- 
ment, cheer on those who volunteer for a sadder service." It grew out 
of the several Rescue Homes and Refuges formed or promoted by Miss 
Ellice Hopkins. Mothers of families, employers of female labour, and 
women engaged in business, hold working parties at one of the Homes, 
and make clothes for the inmates, whom they also assist in various 
other ways. There are two branches, one in Ireland, and another at 

head, North Wales. By Miss Crosse. Founded, in 1890, by Miss 
Adeane, of Plas, Llandudno, for training girls for service. Its dis- 
tinguishing feature is that apartments at the Institute are let to visitors, 
so that the girls for each of whom ^12 a year is charged can practise 
what they are taught. Cooking demonstrations and sewing-classes for 
outsiders are held, as well as home art classes for men and boys in the 
autumn and winter. 

HOME FOR GIRLS, Ripon. Girls are trained for service in this Home, 
which was founded by Dean Goode, in 1862, when there was great 
distress among Lancashire cotton-weavers. They are taught to make 

Appendix. 383 

everything they wear except boots and shoes, and good situations are 
found for them. "About ninety per cent, of those sent to service do 
well," according to the report. 

* GIRLS' INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL, Fakenham, Norfolk. By Miss S. 
Hamond. Established, in 1858, by Mrs. Robert Hamond, who found 
that, on leaving national schools, girls often "went wrong." When this 
School was opened, with a dozen of the least hopeful girls in Fakenham, 
there were only two schools of the kind in England. There are now 
seventy inmates, and six hundred girls a large proportion of whom have 
turned out well have passed through the School. It complies with the 
Industrial Schools Act, and receives a proportion of pauper children. 
Most of the girls are fitted for domestic service, but some are taught 
dressmaking, and a few who showed a decided turn for teaching have 
been trained as pupil teachers. An Orphanage, founded in connection 
with the School, is useful, not only in itself, but in keeping alive a kindly 
feeling among the elder girls for those of tender years ; it also enables 
the superintendent and matron to discover those girls who have a special 
aptitude for taking care of young children. A hired cottage at Weybourne, 
on the sea-coast, is occupied by the orphans in August and September ; 
it also serves as a sanatorium for any girls in the School who need bracing 
air. The Institution is kept up by subscriptions and donations. Only 
girls of good moral character are admitted, and for each a charge varying 
from 3-y. 6d. to js. per week is made. 

heath, London. By Mrs. Helen Y. Storrar. Opened a few years ago, 
" to provide a place where girls between the ages of thirteen and sixteen, 
unconvicted of criminal or moral offences, but who were in dangerous 
surroundings, or likely to go astray, might be received and trained for 
domestic service." Sixteen girls can be accommodated. For each a 
payment of 4-y. a week is required, the remainder of the funds being 
raised by voluntary contributions. The income is never more than ^450 
a year from all sources. A Church of England Home, managed by ladies, 
under the presidency of the Rector of Kidbrook. Girls who go to situa- 
tions in the neighbourhood may, with the permission of their mistresses, 
go to the Home to tea on Sunday a privilege they largely avail 
themselves of. 

These Associations owe their origin to Miss Ellice Hopkins. They 
are actively at work in over 120 busy centres of population. Their 
common aim is to raise the tone of life and thought among all classes 
by instructing mothers and teachers in the training of the young ; by 
forming Girls' Clubs in manufacturing towns ; by looking up poor and 
friendless girls as they leave school, and placing them in respectable 
service ; by emigration ; by helping workhouse children to a good start 
in life ; and by passing on the children rescued from dangerous sur- 
roundings to suitable schools. Some of the Associations have also a 
Rescue Branch. A list of Training-Homes, free Registry Offices for 

384 Appendix. 

Young Servants, Temporary Homes, Refuges, and Rescue Homes in 
connection with the Associations, is annually published in the pages of 
"The Englishwoman's Year-Book." The Associations act from the 
smallest things to the most serious matters from missing a last train, 
or dismissal from service, to shame and crime as the girls' friend and 

Miss To-wnsend. The object at which this Association aims is " to give 
pupil teachers interests and pleasures apart from their school life, and to 
enable them to gain a higher conception of the privileges and respon- 
sibilities of their calling." To attain this end, women of culture invite 
them in small groups to " at homes " and reading parties ; form them into 
reading clubs, glee clubs, or game clubs ; aid then in the management 
of their library ; and visit universities, picture-galleries, and museums with 
them. The Association was founded in 1887 ; and in June, 1892, there 
were 1120 pupil teacher members, 163 lady associates, and 324 honorary 
members, or members who have left the centre, either for training colleges 
or to begin their life as teachers. Mrs. Henry Fawcett, the first president, 
was succeeded in May, 1891, by Mrs. S. A. Barnett. The work is carried 
on in twelve centres all over London, but the head-quarters are at Toynbee 
Hall. The Association has from the first received support from eminent 
and honoured workers in education. Its object is to give pleasure, to 
give culture, and by such influences to refine and develop the character of 
the young, who, however skilful as teachers, can scarcely be expected to 
really form the character, manners, or mind of their pupils. It is to 
this, I think, much of the disappointment in education is due ; and the 
effort to counterbalance the unavoidable disadvantages of the young 
class of teachers is a worthy, prudent object, kindly to the girls them- 
selves, and deserving the consideration of all engaged in education. 

By Miss GaskelL Founded in 1875, in consequence of a report drawn 
up by Mrs. Nassau Senior, at the request of the Local Government 
Board, on the education of girls in pauper schools. The report showed 
that the education and training were insufficient for preparing the girls 
for the duties, difficulties, and perils of after-life. In the words of 
Mrs. Senior, "the girls want more mothering." Mrs. Senior then 
devised a plan, by which " volunteer benevolence," represented by the 
efforts of ladies, should do the work that was lacking. On this scheme 
the Association was inaugurated. The lady visitors undertake to look 
after the girls for the guardians, to keep a register of them, to furnish a 
yearly report, to establish homes where the girls can lodge when out of 
situations, and to give help and training as may seem necessary. This 
oversight is continued until the girls reach the age of twenty, and some- 
times longer. During 1891 the Association had thirty-two metropolitan 
branches, forty-two registries, and eighteen training-homes and lodging- 
houses. In the same year it found places for 6084 girls, it lodged 1912 
of them, trained 365, and sent 670 to hospitals and convalescent homes. 
Its operations are not confined exclusively to girls from pauper schools. 

Appendix. 385 

A home has recently been opened at Hitchin for "feeble-minded" girls, 
who are too deficient for service, and yet not bad enough to be certified 
as insane or imbecile. The account of the work is most interesting. 
The girls feel the home " something of their own," and speak of " our 
ladies." This Institution is one of the most prominently useful and needed 
which we have amongst us in England. Though habits, ideas, and 
customs necessarily vary, girls needing supervision are ever growing up, 
whose feet may be turned into the right path or the wrong, and those 
older than the girls are responsible for seeing it is in the right way that 
early girlhood, however circumstanced, is led to walk. The Institution 
works with the Girls' Friendly Society. 

SERVANT-GIRLS' HOME, Derby Lodge, Dalston Lane, London, E. 
By the Lady Wantage. The Institution was founded, in 1874, by the late 
Mrs. Oldfield, for rescuing young girls from contaminating influences, 
watching over them during the most critical years of their lives, and 
providing them with a home to which they may always return. Its im- 
portance lies not only in what it trains girls to be, but in what it saves 
them from becoming. In nineteen years 1263 girls have passed through 
it. In 1892, 1 80 were received, the expenses for the year being : salaries, 
;86 ; board, ^262 ; clothing for girls (part to be repaid), ^189. The 
greatest pains are taken to maintain a hold over the girls in after-life, and 
encouragement is given to girls who retain their first situation for a 
certain fixed period. This is a wise measure ; for it is sometimes hard 
for girls leaving such a Home for one where they must necessarily live 
under different circumstances, and in which they are not under the direct 
care of kindly friends. The position of servants is one largely affecting 
the welfare of the rising generation of girls who will probably find in this 
direction more remunerative employment than elsewhere. 

Miss Anna C. Aggs. This Institution receives girls direct from school or 
home, and gives them careful domestic training. The domestic duties of 
the Institution, which resemble in every way those of a private family, are 
performed by the girls one going into the kitchen for a few weeks as cook 
or kitchen-maid, while others for the same period act as housemaids or 
parlour-maids. Stair-carpets, bright fenders, and other articles requiring 
careful attention, etc., form part of the furniture of the Institution, in order 
to give the inmates a complete course of instruction. Some pleasing 
results have come to the knowledge of the committee. 

THE TRAVELLERS' AID SOCIETY, i6a, Old Cavendish Street, Lon- 
don, W. By the Lady Frances Balfour. Founded six or seven years 
ago, under the auspices of the Y.W.C.A., to act as guardian and pro- 
tector to young women moving from place to place, who require advice 
and assistance. Notices are extensively posted in places frequented by 
travellers, warning young women against the numerous and dangerous 
pitfalls that often beset their path in strange cities, and referring them 
for help to an agent of the Society. In London a lady is employed to go 
from station to station, enlisting the aid of the officials in the Society's 
work, and rendering practical assistance to travellers. In conjunction 

2 C 

386 Appendix. 

with the Protection and Rescue Society for Jewish Girls, the Society 
employs an experienced man, who speaks several languages, to meet 
steamboats on their arrival, and he is frequently the means of saving 
foreign girls from temptation. The Queen is patron of the Society, which 
derives all its income from voluntary subscriptions. In these days, when 
all travel, the want of some society for saving girls and young women 
from difficulties, annoyances, and possible dangers, and making their 
progress from place to place as smooth and safe as possible, is very great. 
With agencies in the colonies and in foreign countries, the Travellers' 
Aid Society not only can, but does, extend a friendly hand to all who 
need one. 

Hon. Emily Kinnaird. This great Association, which now has three 
hundred branches, and nearly a hundred thousand members and associ- 
ates in Europe, was founded in 1855, when a few Christian ladies agreed 
to form a Union for Prayer on behalf of young women. It was after- 
wards developed by the late Lady Kinnaird, who set herself to aid girls 
whose employment brought them to London, away from the supervision 
of their friends, and to provide for them happy and healthful companion- 
ship. The Association thus started gradually assumed its present cha- 
racter, provision being made for the social and physical needs of young 
women of all classes. The objects of the Association are to unite 
young women for prayer, mutual help, sympathy, and instruction, and 
to promote the moral, social, and intellectual well-being of all. The 
Association has established boarding-houses, institutes, and clubs, 
restaurants, and holiday homes. It has organized a circulating library 
department ; it publishes several periodicals for officials and members 
and general readers ; it advises and provides protection for girls desirous 
of emigrating ; assists others to find employment ; and aids both home 
and foreign mission work. Other departments are working for the pro- 
motion of thrift, technical education, home study, temperance, etc., the 
Association seeking to cover " the whole range of girlhood's wants." It 
unites all in the work, irrespective of denomination, nationality, or age, 
having only one great link to bind all workers together its prayer union 
and adhesion to its basis, " a living union with Christ." The position 
of young women at the period this Association was formed caused anxious 
thought to be given to them. Large numbers of girls were attracted to 
London and other large cities by the many kinds of employment then 
opening up to women. The absence of any regular organization for the 
protection of girls thus thrown upon their own resources in the world, 
brought under consideration the circumstances in which thousands of 
girls were living, and the strongest desire among their own sex to try and 
remedy the evils of their position. This feeling found its exponents in 
the ladies who founded the Y.W.C.A. The harvest reaped has been, 
indeed, bountiful. I think, however, that those who are acquainted with 
the record of its immense work of which a fraction only is presented 
here must be even more struck by the foresight which has enabled the 
Association to meet difficulties before they were apparent, than by the 
magnitude of its operations. 

Appendix. 387 

SION. By the Lady Carbery. It is to Mary, Lady Kinnaird, that this bene- 
ficent and widespreading organization owes its origin. About the year 
1855, the forlorn and unprotected condition of the girls and young women 
who were flocking to London and other large cities, where employment 
awaited them, forced itself on the attention of the lady who was then 
known as the Hon. Mrs. Kinnaird, who opened, in Upper Charlotte 
Street, Fitzroy Square, a Home in which young women above the rank 
of domestic servants were boarded and lodged for a guinea a week. Some 
two years later this Home altered its character. Rooms were thrown 
open every evening except Saturday, for the use of young women engaged 
In business during the day, who were invited to make use of a good 
library, to join classes for French, German, singing, drawing, and to 
listen to lectures on various subjects. Here we first see in actual 
operation the Y.W.C.A. as we know it to-day. Mrs. Kinnaird's work 
grew apace, and in 1871 th'ere were two homes and four institutes. It 
was not, however, until 1876, when another organization was incorpo- 
rated in Mrs. Kinnaird's, that the present title came into use. There are 
now five great divisions in Great Britain and Ireland, and two foreign 
divisions one for the colonies, and the other for the European conti- 
nent and foreigners in England ; but efforts are being made to merge 
these, with the American, Colonial, and- Continental Associations, into one 
world-wide organization. Mrs. Kinnaird, who became Lady Kinnaird 
in .1878, is the life president of the London division, which, with a 
membership of between sixteen and seventeen thousand, has, in its 
140 branches, twenty-one institutes and evening-rooms, and nineteen 
homes and restaurants, where good lodgings can be had at from 2s. 6d. 
to 4s. 6d. per week, with meals at very moderate rates. From time to 
time, as need has arisen, the Association has given birth to a branch for 
girls employed in restaurants, railway bars, and public-houses, to a 
Factory Helpers' Union, a Travellers' Aid Society, an Employment 
Agency, a Park Mission, and a Missionary Training-Home. Lady Car- 
bery's comprehensive paper is full of interest to those who wish to 
acquaint themselves with the history and working of this invaluable 
Society. New developments are constantly opening out ; and, as the faith 
which first prompted the work is as strong as ever, there can be no doubt 
that the Y.W.C.A. is destined to go on increasing in magnitude and 

TUTE, 2, St. George's Road, Buckingham Palace Road, London, S.W. 
This Institute is open daily from ten to ten. A feature worth noting is 
that, by paying a trifling sum weekly into a holiday fund, the girls become 
entitled to a bonus of is. on every los. deposited, and are able to take 
a holiday at small expense by going at a reduced railway fare to some 
Y.W.C.A. seaside Home. 

DEPARTMENT. By Miss A. Cough. This department has been organized 
to promote communication between employers seeking those of good 

388 Appendix. 

character and Christian principles, and members or others needing 
employment. It is open to governesses, matrons, mission workers, and 
domestic servants. Satisfactory references are always required. 

INSTITUTE. By Mrs. Richardson. This is an institution where respect- 
able and shelterless young women are received. It contains 230 senior 
and fifty junior members, and has its club-room, library, working agencies, 
educational classes, and "at homes." The house accommodates seven- 
teen, and there is rarely a bed unoccupied. During 1891, 160 girls stayed 
in the Institute. A " traveller's bed " is provided for any one who wants 
only a night's accommodation. An employment agency and a guild of 
working associates render useful service. Girls between the ages of 
twelve and seventeen belong to the Junior Branch. 

at Bournemouth, Boscombe, Westbourne, and Springbourne. By Miss 
Wingfieid Digby. Connected with the Barnet branch founded by Miss 
Robartes for young shopwomen, originated by Mrs. Fenton, in 1887, and 
since carried on, together with a Bible-class for young gentlewomen, by 
Miss Wingfieid Digby. 

PEACE COTTAGE, Heronsgate, Herts. A very brief report, stating that 
here girls engaged in business all day in London can sleep in the quiet- 
ness and freshness of the country. It is connected with the Y.W.C.A. 

ING, SUSSEX. By Miss F. Smith-Heriz. A seaside Home, similar to 
the one at Bournemouth. The terms of admission are moderate. 

~B>jMrs.J. Herbert Tritton. The work of the Y.W.C.A. has already been 
fully explained elsewhere. This division undertakes the care of young 
women from all the countries, and speaking all the languages, of Europe, 
who flock to England, knowing nothing of the dangers which will 
surround them. What these dangers are may be seen from the letters of 
mothers in distant lands, -imploring the Association to find daughters who 
have not sought its aid. Many, however, now write before coming to 
England, making inquiries or asking advice. A similar work is, of course, 
needed for English girls going to any foreign country. 

WESTBOURNE EVENING HOME, 70, Westbourne Grove, London, W. 
In October, 1887, this Home was thrown open for the first time to the 
hard-working shop-girls in and around Westbourne Grove. There are 
162 members, who for a yearly subscription of 4^. have the use of a library, 
writing-room, reading-room, and are entertained by lectures and concerts. 
Valuable points about this Home are its proximity to several large 
business houses, and the fact that it is open on Saturday afternoons, 
Sundays, and Bank Holidays, when many of the members, having no 
homes in London, would otherwise be thrown on their own resources 
for companionship and occupation. 

Appendix. 389 


Mrs. Bishop. There is an Association of ladies in Birmingham, formed 
for the purpose of visiting police-courts, to aid the young and unfortunate. 
As a rule, the visitors do not deal with felony cases. This paper does not 
state when the Association was formed, but it is believed that police-court 
visiting by ladies is peculiar to Birmingham. Very often a girl, if dis- 
charged on a first offence, is handed over to the care of the lady visitors. 
Men especially connected with the temperance movement attend the 
courts ; and the practice might more often be adopted elsewhere. This 
effort to reach a class who are necessarily unbefriended in court, and who 
could sometimes be preserved from a further downfall, deserves the fullest 
consideration ; and it may be hoped that more may see their way to 
good work in this direction, and in such others as prison and work- 
house visiting, and poor-law work. 

by Miss Caroline Neave, at that time engaged in prison visiting with 
Mrs. Fry, the Home receives (i) girls who have been convicted and 
imprisoned for a first offence ; (2) those discharged from service for dis- 
honesty, but not prosecuted ; (3) girls unmanageable but not criminal. 
They are trained for domestic service, their friends paying 4^. weekly. 
Penitentiary and inebriate cases are excluded. During the seventy years 
it has existed, 1945 have been admitted. Perhaps the strongest evidence 
of the soundness of the principles on which this Society conducts its work 
is the fact that it lives side by side with many others which have sprung 
into existence since the foundress formed her beneficent plan, and that, 
though seventy years have passed, it is still doing good, true work, giving 
hope and much encouragement to those who need the helping hand and 
the word in due season. 

ST. MARY'S TRAINING-HOME, Netting Hill, London. By Miss Alice 
Jameson. Ten years ago the Notting Dale Ladies' Association opened 
this little Home to train for service girls who, from character or circum- 
stance, were in moral danger. Of the first two hundred girls who passed 
out only six are known to have taken to evil courses a fact which speaks 
volumes for the thoroughness with which the Home does its work. After 
a lapse of six years, seventy or eighty girls were still in communication 
with the lady-superintendent. 


* AMBERLEY CONVALESCENT HOME, Stroud, Gloucestershire. By 
Mrs. Blackwell. This Home, in a small village on the Cotswold Hills, 
was opened in 1872, and the bracing air is found to be a great restorative. 
Five women are received every month free of expense ; the cost to the 
Home being about i each. Local cases only are admitted during the 

39O Appendix. 

winter. The Home is specially appreciated by the patients for its home- 
like, unconventional character, and the matron takes a personal interest 
in her charges. 

*THE CAMBRIAN CENTRAL OFFICE. This Office was started in 
connection with the S.P.F.W., as a means by which Welsh workers might 
dispose of their work. The secretary, Miss Tacher, has also provided 
employment (needlework) at Llandudno for a number of women during 
the winter months ; most of the articles made being sold at the London 
central office. 

This Society was formed in 1879, an d is working in twenty-seven 
dioceses in England and Scotland. Its object is to help women, married 
or single, to lead Christian lives ; being banded together, with practical 
rules of conduct for mutual help and strength. Bible and secular classes, 
mothers' meetings, lending libraries, penny banks, sick clubs, etc., are 
often set on foot as helps to the members to live up to their rules of life, 
and an important part of the work in towns consists of the establishment 
of evening clubs, lodging-houses, etc., for women employed in ware- 
houses and factories. The first branch was formed at Colchester, and 
solved for the clergy the problem of how to reach and benefit factory 
workers. The East London Branch has had a very great influence for 
good, and the ladies living at the branch in one of the worst districts in 
South London are gradually raising around them a higher standard of 
conduct, based on Christian principles. The success of the work is proved 
by the crowded congregation of working women and girls which assembles 
in St. Paul's Cathedral on the occasion of the anniversary sermon. 

* CLEVEDON CONVALESCENT HOME. This pleasant seaside Home 
provides change and rest for the weary coming from any part of the 
country. Eighteen women and children, and ten men and boys are 
admitted. No nurses are required, and the Home is managed by a lady- 

Home was opened in 1887, and receives convalescent patients, widows, 
and members of the Y.W.C.A., requiring change and rest. In addition 
to members and associates of the Y.W.C.A., the Home has received 
missionary workers, governesses, widows, nurses, servants, and girls 
engaged in business. Some have been enabled to remain in the Home 
by means of help from the Special Fund. 

Alexander. This Society was founded twenty years ago by Miss Alex- 
ander, with a view to helping respectable poor women belonging to her 
mothers' meeting. This is done by giving them needlework, to be done 
in their own homes during the winter months. Miss Alexander receives 
valuable assistance in effecting the sale of her work from the S.P.F.W. 

*HOME FOR CONSUMPTIVE FEMALES, Gloucester Place, London. 
This Home was originally started in the Marylebone Road, where 

Appendix. 391 

Mrs. H. M. J. Bird and the Hon. Olivia C. Kinnaird visited and assisted 
a few poor consumptive women, who were housed in some two or three 
rooms lent rent-free for the purpose. Many demands for admission 
induced them to take a house in Gloucester Place, which was fitted as a 
hospital for about twenty patients, under the care of a committee. Before 
long the hospital was greatly enlarged. Its special feature is the per- 
manence of the home it offers to patients. Small payments by patients 
also figure among the receipts. 

By Alice Marshman. The important and useful work carried on in 
connection with this Home is evidenced by the average number of 
invalids received yearly (two thousand). It was originally established at 
Dover, in 1870. It consists of three wings one for reduced gentlewomen 
and governesses ; one for needlewomen and young women in business ; 
and one for working men's wives and children. Of the invalids annually 
received, about ninety-five per cent, are restored to health, and the death- 
rate does not exceed two in a thousand. There is a free fund for relieving 
orphan and destitute cases, and in cases of real need the " Dorcas 
Wardrobe " lends its friendly aid. 

OF INDUSTRY. This Society was founded in 1856, as an industrial aid to 
the poor of the district. This is done by affording a little home work to 
mothers, and the work is conducted, as far as possible, on a self-supporting 
basis. The Society is conducted by a committee of twelve ladies, and the 
deserving poor are relieved without being pauperized. 

the Dowager Lady Gifford. The first Institution of this kind was founded 
by H.R.H. Princess Frederica, in 1881. It has accommodation for nine 
poor married women who require change and rest after childbirth. They 
are allowed to stay three weeks, free of all cost. Several similar institu- 
tions have since been opened in England, and a large hospital on the 
same plan has been started in Vienna. Annual subscriptions and dona- 
tions furnish the necessary funds. 

This excellent Home is a visible proof of the kindly forethought of one 
who has a royal heart as well as a royal name ; a touching reminder of a 
great sorrow which befell a young<princess. While still a happy mother, 
rejoicing in a blooming and beautiful baby, surrounded by every comfort 
and luxury, the Princess Frederica thought of the trying [time convales- 
cence must be to mothers in poor homes, sufficiently recovered to feel the 
inconvenience caused by their confinement, and worried by the wish to 
resume the daily tasks to which as yet their strength is unequal. When 
the little one died whose birth had awakened this tender solicitude for 
the poor in the Princess's mind, her thoughts reverted to their necessities, 
and in due time her philanthropic plan was carried into execution. 

Lily Ewer Benn. This Convalescent Home was founded by Blanche, 
Countess of Rosslyn, to the memory of the late Earl of Rosslyn. It was 

392 Appendix. 

opened by Lady Brooke, on May 24, 1892. During the first five months 
there were eighty-five poor weary travellers from " slum-land." The 
Countess of Rosslyn makes herself responsible for the rent, rates, taxes, 
matron, servants, etc., means for the maintenance of the inmates being 
obtained through the activity and interest and generosity of Miss Lily 
Ewer Benn and other kind friends of the suffering poor. 

I would like to add that no more touching paper has been sent to me 
than this, given by one who knows well and has shared all the tender 
feelings to which this Home owes its origin. It shows, in its simple story 
of a widow's sorrow, the habits of a life, and acquaintance with the wants 
of working women, and their feelings. It is such evidences of thought 
and care for others, the desire to soften toil and refresh weary spirits by 
sympathy, as are revealed in this record, which make it so impossible to 
give any adequate idea how largely philanthropy enters into daily life. 
The report tells of many another who strives to perpetuate the loving- 
kindness of those they mourn by creating Homes such as this. 

By Miss Fitzroy, Self-help is the principle on which this Home is based. 
The women cook their food, clean their rooms, and still find plenty of 
time for thorough enjoyment of a quiet country life. Everything is simple 
and inexpensive. 

This Home was founded, in 1878, by ladies who had become acquainted 
with the sad plight of young women, dressmakers, shop-assistants, and 
teachers, who, when dismissed from hospitals as incurable, had no other 
refuge. Accommodation is now afforded to twenty-two such persons in 
the Home, which has so long carried on its beneficial work of brightening 
the lives of its suffering inmates. Payment is sometimes expected from 

Street, London. By Miss Gertrude J. King. This Society commenced 
its work, under the presidency of the late Earl of Shaftesbury, in 1859, 
and was incorporated twenty years later. The Society is strictly unsec- 
tarian and non-political. It was the first Society established for the 
purpose of providing technical training for women. It watches over the 
rights of adult women to work for a livelihood unhampered by special 
legislative restrictions which do not apply to men. It undertakes a 
considerable variety of clerical work. The office is a centre for collecting 
and communicating information as to women's work of all kinds, and 
a free register is kept of capable women of guaranteed respectability 
anxious for employment. A noticeable feature in the work and record 
of this Society is the large excess of income over expenditure. During 
the last sixteen years the average income has been ^360 13^. jd. ; the 
average working expenditure, .238 ijs. 6d. In the same period 1065 
persons have been placed as learners, 1087 in permanent engagements, 
and several thousands in temporary employment. 

Holmes White. This Society was started twenty-six years since, under 

Appendix. 393 

the name of the National Central Office of Institutions for Women and 
Girls of Good Character, by Mrs. Goode, wife of the then Dean of Ripon. 
Its object is to promote female welfare by the united working of insti- 
tutions for women and girls of good character. In 1872 the title was 
altered, and men as well as women were admitted to its management. 
The Society furnishes information to subscribers and the public as to 
the working, terms of admission, existing vacancies, etc., in the institu- 
tions associated with it ; acquaints the institutions of applicants desiring 
admission, and assists them by finding situations for their inmates on 
leaving ; keeps a repository at the central office, where sample work 
done at the institutions may be exhibited ; receives subscriptions for the 
homes, or for any individual case in either of them ; keeps a register 
of persons requiring servants, and of servants recommended by members ; 
provides for the safe transit of girls going to or from affiliated homes 
through London, and encourages faithful service by reward. I have 
indicated by an asterisk (*) the Societies or Institutions mentioned in 
this Appendix which are connected with the Society for Promoting 
Female Welfare. 

Macpherson. For the past twenty-five years Miss Macpherson has been 
in the habit of inviting a number of aged widows to a weekly sewing 
meeting, giving them sixpence and a free tea for their afternoon's work. 
Death has gradually reduced the number from three hundred in the 
earlier years to about a hundred now. Lady nurses visit those who are 
too feeble to come to the class, and beef-tea, gruel, and milk-puddings 
are dispensed from an invalid kitchen. This work was begun at a period 
when cholera and fever had almost decimated East London, and when 
the streets were swarming with neglected children. Efforts of this kind 
usually die out with the exceptional circumstances which call them forth ; 
but this one, fortunately, has not only survived, but has prospered beyond 
all expectation. The abundant success of Miss Macpherson's labours 
should encourage others to " go and do likewise." 


London, E. By Miss Mary H, Steer. Believing that " without merging 
our own lives into theirs, and making a serious and practical study of 
the world in which these poor degraded ones live, we shall never make 
the headway we desire in saving what are called the lapsed classes," 
the author of this paper went, thirteen years ago, to live in Ratcliff 
Highway, then one of the worst parts of East London. At first she 
worked alone, going out into the highways and by-ways, and persuading 
the girls and women she wished to reform to visit her in her own house, 
and regard her as their friend. By degrees others joined her in the 
work. Then she took a little house in Princes Square, just out of the 
Highway, and from that the present large mission building, which cost 
.5480 to build and furnish, has grown. The work is now divided into 
three distinct branches : (i) the night shelter, or the work among 
destitute women ; (2) rescue work among fallen women, carried on in 

394 Appendix. 

the refuge ; (3) preventive work among little girls who have been born 
among the very worst surroundings ; these subjects being fully treated 
in the Congress paper on Rescue Work, which Miss Steer has written 
for this volume. The spirit of the writer illumines her simple yet moving 
narrative, as it shines through all her work. These "mothering ladies" 
never reject from their preventive homes any poor wandering child who 
needs a bed for the night. Some came one evening when Miss Steer 
was there. Said one, " It is hard to be in the streets without a bed ; so 
we came." They left in the morning, saying they were going to places. 
This might or might not have been true, she says ; but at least they did 
not that night "lie down in sin." 

Mrs. Chater. With the object of assisting women desiring to cure them- 
selves of intemperate habits, this Home was opened in 1886. It is in 
connection with the British Women's Temperance Association, and is 
managed by a ladies' committee, of which Lady Elizabeth Biddulph is 
president. Twelve ladies and twelve working women are received ; the 
former pay from i$s. to 31$. 6d., and the latter (who do the household 
work) from $s. to 12s. 6d. per week. While many of the patients have 
relapsed, many others have so far done well. 

THE ELIZABETH FRY REFUGE, Hackney, London. By Miss T. 
Augusta Fry. This Institution was founded in 1849, as a memorial to 
the late Mrs. Elizabeth Fry, whose work in prisons is so well known. Its 
object is to help women who have been imprisoned for a first offence to 
regain their characters. There is accommodation for thirty women, and 
3366 have been received since the foundation of the Institution. The 
history of a woman is told to any lady wishing to engage her, but when 
she has once, by a year's service, won a good character, the past is not 
referred to again. The religious instruction given is unsectarian ; an 
outfit is supplied to the women on leaving, and a correspondence kept up 
with them as far as possible. 

MRS. MEREDITH'S INSTITUTIONS. It is impossible to give, in a short 
compass, any satisfactory summary of this very full and interesting report 
of the numerous Institutions conducted by Mrs. Meredith, who has 
worked so long as the unpaid servant of the English public. " The 
call " to become a prison visitor came to her in a most unexpected manner, 
and she went to the work, she confesses, " with reluctance and regret." 
" In the course of my visiting," she says, " I had personal dealing with 
every individual in Brixton prison, then the chief convict prison for 
women with some as they sat at work, with others in the infirmary in bed, 
occasionally in the cells with those condemned to solitary confinement. 
Sometimes where the epileptic and insane were isolated, and in the dark 
with the incorrigible, I had perfect freedom to converse with and to inform 
myself as to the state of their minds. I availed myself of this privilege, 
and used it so continually that I soon knew all the prisoners and much 
about their histories." One of the chief features of Mrs. Meredith's work 
is that of detaching prisoners from their "friends." She found and 
visited those who would not come to the refuge, becoming familiar with 

Appendix. 395 

the haunts of crime in London and the larger towns. They nearly always 
belonged to gangs, by whom, by her straightforwardness, she came to be 
"tolerated." A touching account is given of the first working of the 
" new and startling " idea of the prison gate mission, the members of which 
took their places among the members of criminal gangs, and waited to 
receive those discharged. A house had been taken, and here a breakfast 
was provided, which helped to draw many women past the public-house. 
The late Lady Emily Pepys presided at the breakfast-table for some 
years. No pecuniary help was given, but work was found and paid for. 
The laundry now employs a thousand women a year. Any woman 
desiring the help of the mission is formally recommended by the 
prison authorities, who also send with their letter the prisoner's photo- 
graph, and a statement of what money is due to her. She may, if she 
pleases, make the mission her bankers, and draw her money as needed. 
If she declines to do so, the total sum is paid over to her, but she receives 
no assistance. The report contains some very interesting statistics ; and 
also describes the Princess Mary Village Homes for children born into, 
or likely from their surrounding to fall into, the criminal ranks . The 
Conference Hall, the Women's Missionary Association, and the work of 
nurses for the sick in Palestine and the Lebanon, are also mentioned. 

ST. THOMAS'S DIOCESAN HOME, Basingstoke. By Eleanor C. Chute. 
A Home for fallen women in the diocese of Winchester. The penitents, as 
a rule, remain two years, and receive a thorough domestic training, besides 
secular and religious instruction. There are six allied refuges at Ports- 
mouth, Aldershot, Southampton, Gosport, Guildford, and in the Channel 
Islands supported out of the funds of this one. In the ten years 1878-87, 
over 2300 young women were reclaimed by these agencies, which require 
a yearly income of ^2000 a year in addition to what the penitents earn. 
There are generally sixty-two penitents in the Home. " It is a sad fact," 
says the report, " that the age of the girls sent to the Home is younger 
than it used to be, a large number being only fourteen and fifteen." A 
feature deserving of mention is that, by the adoption of the cottage sys- 
tem, a family life is maintained. Each cottage is in charge of a lady (a 
sister) who acts as mother to a family of twelve girls. If we except direct 
religious influence, there is probably nothing more likely to appeal to the 
better feelings of these unfortunates than the restoration to family friend- 
ships and habits. On the other hand, if their fall was due to the want 
of proper home surroundings in childhood, the softening and purifying 
influence of this family life must materially help the work of reform. 

TEMPERANCE HOME, West Holme, Hounslow. Opened in 1884 to 
reclaim women from habits of intemperance. The report calls attention 
to the sad facts that intemperance is increasing faster among women than 
among men, and that, owing to the peculiar fondness of the former for 
solitary drinking, they are often completely under the power of the evil 
habit before their nearest relatives are aware of it. At West Holme, in 
a large, good-looking house, standing in its own grounds, twenty patients 
are received, who pay from 8s. to 2is. per week. They are under no 
restraint except that imposed by love, the Home not being registered 

396 Appendix. 

under the Act. Needlework and laundry-work done by the inmates help 
to support the establishment, but donations and subscriptions are required 
as well. On the subject of results the report states that " there are cases 
now reclaimed and restored as mother, wife, sister, or friend, who look 
back gratefully to the Home that sheltered them, to the friends that 
loved and cared for them, but, above all, to the Saviour who found them, 
and who ever lives to intercede for them." Four ladies form the com- 
mittee of management. 

Yorkshire. By Mrs. Armytage. The object of this Home, where forty 
women are received, is to provide women, on leaving prison, with the 
means of redeeming their characters. After a period of training in 
habits of industry and domestic life, they are helped to get out into 
profitable situations. Eight hundred women have been received into the 
Home since 1865. 

M. Harvey. The special object of this Union is to promote total 
abstinence amongst women and girls. All the usual means to this end 
are employed, and the ladies also visit the police-cells on Sundays. 
The Union is attached to the B.W.T.A. 


CLERGY LADIES' HOMES, Paddington. By Miss Lyall, Hon. Sec. 
This Home was established in 1862, for the destitute widows and un- 
married daughters of clergymen over forty years of age. Each lady has 
two rooms, for which she pays i a. year rent, besides 2s. 6d. or 3^. a week 
for service. There are no official expenses, as all work on behalf of the 
ladies as a labour of love and sympathy. The Homes are under the 
patronage of the Princess of Wales, the archbishops, and the clergy. 

By Mrs. Boyd Carpenter. In the diocese of Ripon, we are told, the 
incomes of many of the livings are so small that it seems impossible for 
any but a single man to exist upon them. Mrs. Boyd Carpenter, to 
assist those with wives and families, started amongst her friends a guild 
for the collection of cast-off clothing, which she sends twice a year from 
the Palace, Ripon, to those she knows to be in need of such help. At 
Christmas a hamper is sent to the neediest, if funds allow, and a small 
sick fund is also attached to the clothing guild. " Many touching letters 
are written," says the report, " expressive of the relief from anxiety which 
comes to the mother's heart when she realizes that her dear ones are 
protected from the rigour of a northern winter." 

Lawrence Road, North Kensington, London. By Miss Mary G. 
Lupton. An offshoot of the Gentlewomen's Self-Help Institute (started in 
1866), which had to give up its depot in Baker Street for the sale of needle- 
work and fancy work when the large West End drapers began to sell 
such articles at much lower prices. This Fund, which has taken the 

Appendix. 397 

place of the institute, is managed by a small committee of ladies, with the 
assistance of Mr. Algernon Turner, Financial Secretary to the Post-Office. 
Its object is to help needy ladies with grants of money, gifts of clothing 
(new and cast-oft), medical advice, and to enable them to secure rest and 
change in the country or at the seaside. 

HOME OF REST, Winterslow House, Weymouth. By Emma P. 
Cope. This Home was founded five years ago, for the accommodation 
of ladies requiring rest and change, who are unable to pay the heavy cost 
of lodgings or hotels. The terms of admission are \$s. to 2$s. a week. 

THE LADIES' HOME, 53, Abbey Road, St. John's Wood, London. By 
Miss E. D. Simpson, Hon. Sec. Founded in 1859, by the late Mrs. 
Greathed, with the aid of some kind friends, for ladies of reduced means, 
who for a sum of from i$s, to i6s. per week are provided with a separate 
room, board, medical advice, and medicine. Some of the inmates work to 
eke out their scanty means, but few are able to do much to help themselves. 
Still, one afternoon a week is often given up to working for the poor, and 
lately a large quantity of clothing made by this means was divided among 
two very poor parishes. This Institution is invaluable to those whom it 
shelters, not alone for the aid it affords to the aged and feeble, but because, 
by fostering the feeling that they can still do something for others, it 
throws a ray of sunshine on the waning years of their lives. 

LADIES' WORK SOCIETY, 31, Sloane Street, London, S.W. By Miss 
M. M. Jazdowska, Hon. Sec. Ladies who are compelled by circum- 
stances to employ their time remuneratively send their needlework to the 
Society's rooms for exhibition and sale. A small percentage on each sale 
is charged, and this, with a profit made on the sale of materials, assists in 
defraying expenses. There are upwards of 250 members who employ 
their needles on every sort of work, from plain sewing to the highest class 
of embroidery. The Society aims at raising the standard of needlework, 
as well as benefiting the workers. Several confirmed invalids are able to 
earn a livelihood through the instrumentality of this Society, which is 
presided over by H.R.H. Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lome, who 
not only helps with her advice and personal supervision, but furnishes 
most of the designs. 

*THE LADIES' WORK SOCIETY. By Mrs. Charles Hoare. This 
Society was started in 1876, and enables ladies, by their own industry, 
to add to their too limited means of support. It is affiliated to the 
Society for Promoting Female Welfare. 

LUTHER MEMORIAL HALL, 120, Ledbury Road, London. By Miss 
Julia Fox. This Home for gentlewomen in reduced circumstances was 
planned by a lady at the Luther Commemoration in 1883, but the idea was 
not carried into effect till January, 1887. The Institution, which is main- 
tained by public contributions, and which has an endowment fund, will 
accommodate eight ladies, who must be Protestant Evangelicals, above 
sixty years of age, and with a private income of not less than ^25 and not 
more than ^50 a year. 

398 Appendix. 

Miss SHEPPARD'S ANNUITANTS' HOMES, 27, Ossington Street, Bays- 
water, London. By Mrs. E. Cadman Jones. " These Homes," Mrs. Jones 
states, "were founded by Miss Sheppard, in 1855, to provide rooms for 
elderly gentlewomen, who, having formerly possessed good means, in their 
later years have fallen into poverty, their incomes being so small that they 
can barely procure the necessaries of life, and are quite unable to pay 
for decent and comfortable residences. Having met with many such 
cases, she was led to take a small house, and collect among her neighbours 
sufficient to maintain it. Here she placed four ladies, each having two 
rooms, with a housekeeper paid partly by her and partly by the inmates. 
With the exception of this small payment, the Homes are free. By degrees 
the number of houses taken has increased to seven, with more than forty 
inmates, as in larger rooms ladies are allowed to have a relative to live 
with them. A candidate must be a lady by birth, from fifty-five to seventy 
years of age, and possess an annuity of not less than ^25 a year. The 
total expenses in 1891 were ^541, permanent income under .100 a year. 
The remainder is supplied by voluntary subscriptions." This is an 
interesting account of one of the many efforts to relieve the pressure of 
penury upon gentlewomen, who, advanced in years, have lost the comforts, 
perhaps luxuries, enjoyed in earlier life, and which it was possible for 
them to obtain whilst they were strong enough to add to their incomes 
by learning or professional skill as artists or by means of other accom- 
plishments. These gentlewomen, so often discovered silently starving out 
of life by those visiting the poor, have strong claims for aid and com- 
passion, and require great tenderness in ministering to their wants. These 
Homes also point a strong moral, that, if possible, some means of re- 
munerative employment should be taught to all women, in whatever 
station born, as adding to the pleasures of declining years, even if not 
absolutely necessary for maintenance. 

WOMEN. By Mrs. Dalison. In 1885 this lady noticed that people who 
had before lived in comfort and often in luxury were literally lacking 
bread, owing to the non-payment of rents. They would eagerly have 
worked, but there was no demand for the little bits of knitting and 
crochet, feeble drawings and other quaint old-fashioned trifles, which were 
all they could offer. Mrs. Dalison, however, set herself to the task of 
raising the^standard, and at a recent sale at Grosvenor House much of 
the work of these same ladies was simply exquisite. The workers have 
been organized into a Guild, which now numbers two hundred members, 
all of whom are regularly employed, while others are assisted in this way 
from time to time. This charitable effort appeals, perhaps, more strongly 
to those who reflect than to those who are moved by acute suffering 
or great poverty. Nevertheless, such calamities, though quietly borne, 
are keenly felt. 

THE ROYAL HOMES FOR LADIES, London. By Alice L. M. Mein- 
ertshagen. These Homes, founded in 1875, were designed to assist Pro- 
testant governesses and other poor gentlewomen over fifty years of age, 
who, from pressure of circumstances or unforeseen calamity, are left without 

Appendix. 399 

adequate means of support in their declining years. The inmates are not 
wholly maintained, but are provided with rooms, coals, gas, attendance, 
medical attendance, medicine, and other comforts. The Homes consist 
of five houses, which accommodate thirty-five ladies, all of whom must 
have a private income of from ^25 to ^50 a year. 

THE WORKING LADIES' GUILD. By Lady Mary Feilding. The 
aim of this Guild is to help unmarried or widowed gentlewomen, if long 
residence in England gives them a claim on our country. The work is 
done by associates, who, on joining the Guild, promise to give what they 
can, either in "time, influence, or money." All ladies desiring employ- 
ment or other assistance must be known personally to one or more of 
the associates, and a visiting society undertakes to verify the statements 
received. The help afforded includes art work, plain work, decorative 
work, etc. There is a registry for governesses, companions, etc., also a 
fund for incurable illness and chronic distress. Help is also given by 
providing residences or flats, at a charge sufficient to cover rent and 
other expenses. About five hundred ladies are now employed. There 
are branches in Northumberland, and at East Molesey, St. Leonard's, 
and Dulwich. At the present time the Guild is giving, in aid to the sick 
and in payment of work, more than ^3000 annually. The members 
and associates number fifteen hundred. This report counts as one 
of the most useful and valuable contributions designed to place this 
branch of the philanthropic life of Englishwomen in some appreciable 
shape before readers. In explaining the name of " Guild," it touches on 
the spirit in which such associations are formed. It details simply but 
earnestly the manifold forms in which those Guild-workers seek to lessen 
or prevent sorrow, pain, and perhaps despair ; it shows that it works 
for and with all ; and it proves that, whether existing under the name of 
Guilds, Working Parties for Ragged Unions, Ladies' Associations for 
Useful Work, Girls' Friendly and other Associations for the Young, Homes 
for the Aged no matter the calling, no matter the situation the leading 
idea, the star that guides the movement, is that hands should help, eyes 
should see, ears should hear, and the mind should devise means to relieve 
the sufferings of those whose lot is cast in our time, trying to leave a 
brighter day for others to work in when we have passed away. The 
report distinctly shows in how many channels one organization lends 
valuable aid, and links into all the varied, separate, yet constantly 
interwoven, conditions of human life. 


BIBLE FLOWER MISSION. By Anne Dove. Acting upon the words, 
" The entrance of Thy Word giveth light," this Society distributes little 
bunches of flowers, attached to which is some short message from the 
inspired Word. They are distributed not only in hospitals and infir- 
maries, but to railway employes, cabmen, in dockyards, on troopships, and 
in other quarters ; the total number used during the past year being 
454,424. If the little bunches of flowers have done nothing else, they 
have given a feeling of fellowship and common enjoyment of the gifts of 

400 Appendix. 

nature, which must have cheered many hearts, and probably given rise 
to deep and more permanent feelings. But the Christian truth of the 
cup of cold water, and the word spoken in due season, is embodied in 
this work of sweetest philanthropy. All can pick up such flowers to give 
by the roadside of life's journey. 

THE BIBLE-WOMEN'S MISSION. By Mrs. Selfe Leonard. This work 
began in 1857, with the employment, by Mrs. Ranyard, of a Bible-woman, 
Marion, to work among the lowest of the poor, with whose life and habits 
she was perfectly acquainted. Bibles were sold and a mothers' mission 
established, a clothing club and a class for simple cookery being afterwards 
established. The work has since grown to wonderful proportions, nearly 
three hundred thousand copies of the Bible having been bought by the 
people since the commencement. Here, as in many other efforts, indi- 
vidual work has achieved great results. " Marion," the first Bible-woman, 
was a person of unusual character, which has left its impress upon all 
those employed in the same ministrations. It is a work very quietly con- 
ducted ; it has never advertised, nor, with one exception, held a public 

This Union was called into existence with the object of establishing 
harmonious and mutually beneficial working relations among the 
numerous philanthropic movements. Out of the " Local Unions of 
Workers," the present "Council of Conferences," with the Duchess of Bed- 
ford at its head, has come into existence. It is a question of moment how 
Englishwomen may multiply their forces of organization and strengthen 
their hands, and in the remarkable conferences lately organized, and 
even more in the Central Conference Council, which is now the chain of 
which these conferences are the links, women workers believe that 
they have solved the problem. By publishing the names and addresses, 
and giving, whenever possible, some idea of the objects, of the thousands 
of societies and associations existing for women or carried on by women, 
within the boards of a book-cover, they hope the initial step has been 
taken towards a better understanding and appreciation of each other's 
work by all. And the foundation of a central bureau in London, in close 
touch with offices of inquiry and individuals throughout the world, is a 
living counterpart of the Directory. The executive committee sits 
through the year, and the organization has, besides its annual Year-book 
and Directory, two monthly reporters, The Threefold Cord and 
Work and Leisure. Weekly meetings for the diffusion of information 
and discussion upon matters of interest are held at the London office, 
and will be a feature in the organization of all local offices that may enter 
into relation with it. 

Ashdoivn. This Association was originated in 1864, with the primary 
object of assisting home missions, establishing ragged schools, and 
affording general relief. In 1870 there was founded the Community of 
the Sisters of the Church, who especially devote themselves to the work 

Appendix. 40 1 

of the Association. This Association now manages six orphanages for 
girls, conducted on the family system, in which children receive a thoroughly 
practical training ; a boys' home ; and a foundling home. It is responsible 
for fifteen large day schools for children, attended by upwards of six 
thousand children, and has also established a training college for 
teachers. A seaside convalescent home receives three hundred sickly 
children, among whom are a number of maimed and crippled little ones, 
and an accident hospital at Rotherhithe has proved most useful, not 
only to men who have sustained injuries while at their work in the docks, 
but also to a large circle of 2600 out-patients. A restaurant has been 
established outside the Docks, and at night is used as a mission-room, a 
" social evening" being held every Thursday. Two food-barrows are sent 
out daily, providing food at nominal prices for the extremely poor and 
unemployed. A night shelter for men, and a labour home where tem- 
porary employment is found, also form part of the work, which in addition 
includes mothers' meetings, free breakfasts and dinners for children, and 
relief workshops, where widows, the aged, or other deserving persons are 
assisted to tide over times of difficulty. The Association has now three 
branches in Canada. This report shows how from a very small commence- 
ment the Association has " developed into a widespreading tree." 

are to afford opportunities for meeting periodically in order to receive 
information on the work of the Society at home and abroad ; to create a 
bond of union between the friends of the Society ; to enlist the sympathy 
and co-operation of others ; and to promote the general interests of the 
Society by contributing towards its support, by working for it, and praying 
for its continued success. Besides the London Union, there are about 
twenty others in provincial towns. The Gleaners' Union for Prayer and 
Work at home and abroad, and the Sowers' Band, designed to interest 
children in the Society, are conducted by voluntary lady-helpers. In the 
foreign field there are 101 female missionaries, and 219 wives of 
missionaries, who take part in the work. There are upwards of sixty 
schools, orphanages, hospitals, and other institutions which are carried on 
by these ladies. 

CHURCH. By E. M. Hope. The Scottish Episcopal Church took up 
the work of foreign mission in 1872 as a corporate body. In 1875 a 
ladies' committee was formed for the purpose of obtaining funds and 
distributing information to the diocesan and other committees. There is 
a central committee, with diocesan and congregational correspondents. 
Its membership exceeds 3500. 

THE DEACONESSES' INSTITUTION, Tottenham. By Christian. Dundas. 
The ladies in this establishment belong to various branches of the Church 
of Christ, united in a common work the care of the sick and needy, the 
tried and tempted, and the little children, with a distinct view to their 
spiritual as well as their temporal welfare. The sisters receive their 
training in the hospital attached to the Mildmay Institution, and afterwards 
occupy various spheres of usefulness at out-stations. 

2 D 

4O2 Appendix. 

agents and helpers of this Mission have to work in the North of Scotland 
among men and women of rough natures and with unsettled and mi- 
gratory habits of life. They do not devote themselves to carrying on a 
religious propaganda, but by medical relief and nursing, and by following 
the fisher-folk as they drift from village to village along the coast, they 
are able to render valuable service. To the women these female mission- 
aries have gone as the revelation of true womanhood. The Mission has 
three stations, and Sister Minna and her co-workers, by their gentleness, 
patience, industry, and self-sacrifice, have endeared themselves to the 

Road, Swiss Cottage, London. By the Authoress of " The Schonberg- 
Cotta Family" The object of this Home is the alleviation of the last 
sufferings of hopeless disease. Hospitals cannot retain a patient whose 
case is proved to be beyond human skill, and this Home has proved a 
beautiful alternative to the workhouse infirmary to many poor creatures 
who had once enjoyed comfort and privacy when in better circumstances. 
It was established, seven years ago, by Miss Davidson, who entirely 
devoted her own efforts and her means to this work, which is now being 
largely extended by general public assistance. Upon this phase of 
tender, thoughtful Christian love there is little call for comment, though it 
may be thought strange that (Friedenheim being only one of the latest of 
results of charity) such homes should not have been sooner and more 
generally established. This report, coming as it does from one who has 
charmed us in fiction, will make us dwell upon its kindly object deeply 
and fondly, and, as far as may lie in our power, to promote its peace- 
giving work. 

SOCIETY OF FRIENDS. This ancient religious community, dating 
from the seventeenth century, is so well known that any special notice 
of its organization is unnecessary. Throughout the world it has carried 
its message of peace and good will. There is scarcely any question of 
public and private charity that has not received support from this com- 
munity, sometimes very conspicuously, as in the case of the Russian and 
Irish famines ; and the sympathy and assistance given in the time of the 
cotton dearth in Lancashire will ever be remembered gratefully by the popu- 
lation of that part of Britain ; and this, not only on account of material 
help bountifully bestowed, but also for the warmth of feeling which was 
shown in the bestowal of it. Their works upon all occasions, or nearly 
all, are carried on conjointly by men and women, although sometimes, 
as at the yearly meetings, the women meet separately. The ladies of 
this community have always been distinguished for culture and refine- 
ment, and in earlier days have not unfrequently been centres of beneficent 
activity in the promotion of education, and the cultivation of taste in art 
and interest in science. Missionaries are still sent into the remote 
country districts, where the old meeting-houses, used by bygone gene- 
rations of Friends, are useful yet as centres of good work. Probably few 
communities have remained so complete, so undivided, so perfectly one 

Appendix. 403 

in mind and faith. Whilst assiduous in promoting objects of Christian 
charity within their own body, they liberally join in the good work of 
other religious organizations. In all the women have ever taken a large 
and active share, which may account in great measure for the fact that, in 
proportion to their numbers, the Friends have played so large a part in 
philanthropic endeavour. The history of Mrs. Fry among many others 
affords a notable illustration to this remark. They came forward at a 
time when women rarely took a prominent place in public affairs, and 
they have left an indelible mark on the work they undertook. Through 
the mediation of Mrs. Fry, reform was carried into the most desolate and 
unthought-of places, and in some where it was desperately needed, as in 
lunatic asylums and prisons ; and the good work was done, not only in 
England, but in Paris, Berlin, and Copenhagen. In the evidence on 
London prisons, brought before the Committee of the House of 
Commons, it is stated " that the benevolent exertions of Mrs. Fry and her 
friends have indeed produced a most gratifying result." 

In the present day a most interesting movement is being carried on 
by Mrs. Fothergill in Darlington. Her daughter, with some friends, is 
doing a useful and humane work among the Zulu Kaffirs ; and she has 
originated in Darlington many useful institutions. Perhaps one of the 
most remarkable is the " Lodge for Young Women and Girls." It is an 
outcome of the Darlington Vigilance Association, carried on by a mixed 
committee. The women of the Vigilance Association took special care 
of the girls, forming the Darlington Girls' Club for the advantage and 
improvement of the girls in the mills. This club (which see, p. 379) is 
worked by a committee of young ladies, who spend the evenings there, 
though their parents shrink from their working on the Vigilance Com- 
mittee. This is only one of many works recorded in the interesting 
report sent to me about the work of the Friends. 

LONDON : St. Mary's German Lutheran Church, Cleveland Street, W.j 
St. George's German Lutheran Church, Whitechapel ; The German 
Lutheran Church (Hamburgher Kirche\ Dalston. The ladies in con- 
nection with these Churches co-operate in relieving the poor. They 
assist the sick and needy in their own dwellings, conduct meetings for 
women and girls, and find situations for girls, for whom, also, outfits are 
provided. Clothing and other gifts are presented to the school-children 
at Christmas ; and, at St. Mary's, boys and girls receive new clothing 
when they come up for Confirmation. Some of the ladies at the Dalston 
Church take an active part in the management of the German Orphanage. 
The ladies of the German Protestant Church, Denmark Hill, having no 
poor families in connection with their Church, are engaged in helping the 
German poor of Whitechapel. 

SOCIATION). By Mrs. Harkness. This Hospital, founded in 1888, is 
practically an enormous development of the older Great Northern Hos- 
pital, which was established in 1 856. A Ladies' Association was formed 
in 1869, and is conducting a work of wide and ever-increasing usefulness. 

404 Appendix. 

Its members undertake to collect at least a guinea per annum, and in 
twenty-five years have found no less than i 1,500 for the Hospital. The 
Association also promotes the welfare of the Institution by making it 
better known, by collecting contributions in kind, by assisting the families 
of necessitous patients, by obtaining letters for the admission of patients 
to convalescent homes, and by visiting in the wards or in the homes of 
the sick. It undertakes the entire maintenance of several beds, and 
supplies all the wards with flowers. It is now raising a special building 
fund of ^5000 for the erection of a female ward as a memorial to the late 
Duke of Clarence and Avondale. 

The coffee-stall attached to the G.N.C.H. owes its origin to a lady 
noticing a poor man who had been in the out-patients' ward, going into 
a public-house to obtain refreshment, which in his case, the doctor said, 
was worse than poison. At the suggestion of Mrs. Harkness (Hon. Sec.), 
a coffee-stall was provided in the corner of the ward, Lady Lilford pre- 
senting the stand and cupboards. To avoid any extra tax on the servants 
of the Hospital, fifteen ladies agreed to attend in turn and undertake the 
work of the stall. The rule for payment is strict ; but still there are many 
unable even to pay the \d. or id. required for the cup of coffee or tea, 
and it is often slipped quietly into their hands. This stall was only 
opened in 1890, but the good arising from it has been very great. Many 
a helpful word has been spoken ; many an opening for blessing has been 
found ; and most interesting are the accounts of some of the results. 
It is hoped that it may find many imitators. 

HOME MISSION WORK IN SCOTLAND. The lady members of the 
Home Mission Association assist in collecting money for church- 
building, and for augmenting the stipends of the clergy, and for the poor. 
In many of the wild and thinly populated parts of the country, this work, 
the usefulness of which cannot be overrated, is one of special difficulty. 
Their chief object is, however, to make women good wives, good mothers, 
and useful members of society. In some parts of the country, each 
member takes under her special protection some one poor family, and 
this plan, which is found to engender a kindly feeling and sympathy, 
generally answers admirably. The Association has also organized 
guilds for young girls, who are thus brought under the influence of cul- 
tivated ladies. These ladies attach the greatest importance to house- 
to-house visiting. 

MUNITY. By the Chief Rabbi. Women take a large and prominent 
part in the philanthropic work of the Jewish community ; and to their 
co-operation many institutions owe their origin and success. Their work 
may be classified under four divisions religious, educational, recre- 
ative, and charitable. 

Religious. On Saturday afternoon services are held for working 
women and girls, and are conducted chiefly by ladies. Sabbath-school 
classes are carried on at the Jews' Free School and at the Westminster 
Free School by honorary lady-teachers. Religious classes are held in 
connection with several of the East End Board Schools, and the female 

Appendix. 405 

teachers, numbering about fifty, are materially aided by a band of lady- 

Educational. At several of the schools the general instruction is 
under the supervision of ladies, and the National Infant School, Bevis 
Marks, is taught entirely by them. At the Stepney School ladies have 
established cooking and laundry classes, and provide penny dinners for 
the children during the winter months. The ladies' committee of the 
Bayswater Schools have organized clubs for the benefit of both scholars 
and parents ; whilst the lady-visitors take an important share in the 
management and control of the Hospital and Orphan Asylum, West 
Norwood. They also undertake the personal supervision of the girls 
after leaving the Institution. 

Recreative. The Brady Street Club, Whitechapel (Lady Rothschild, 
President), is intended for the intellectual improvement and recreation 
of working people of both sexes. The evening classes for needlework, 
writing, composition, reading, and elocution, are conducted by cultivated 
gentlewomen, who strive to win the girls' love and confidence. Enter- 
tainments are also given by the lady-managers. A special feature at this 
Club, and also at the Girls' Club, Great Prescott Street (Mrs. Louis 
Davidson, President), is the tea-party on Sunday afternoons, when the 
girls are the guests of bright and kindly hostesses, who come down from 
the West End to entertain them. Free concerts and " Children's Happy 
Evenings," at the Jews' Free School, are also managed by ladies. About 
450 children benefit annually from the Children's Country Holiday Fund, 
and are carefully looked after by ladies. The various hospitals and 
homes are much indebted to the voluntary efforts of women ; whilst the 
women's guilds in connection with synagogues help to brighten the 
lives and supply the wants of the sick and poor. In some of the guilds 
the ladies provide the sacred vestments for the synagogues. 

Charitable. The Ladies' Conjoint Visiting Committee visit the 
Jewish inmates in hospitals, infirmaries, workhouses, and lunatic 
asylums, and have work-rooms at Bishopsgate Street, where mothers of 
families are taught to sew, and where garments are given out to be made 
by the poor for the poor at a moderate cost. The Ladies' Benevolent 
(Maternal) Institution, the Ladies' Benevolent Loan and Visiting Society 
for granting loans to the poor free of interest, the Ladies' West End 
Charity, the Soup Kitchen for the Jewish Poor, penny dinners for 
school-children, and the Ladies' Association for Preventive and Rescue 
Work, are some of the societies which are carried on almost entirely 
by ladies. A very extensive Needlework Guild has recently been 
founded, in order to provide suitable clothing for the Russo-Jewish 
refugees both here and abroad. About fifteen thousand garments were 
made and distributed within six months. 

There are similar societies, modelled on the plan of the metropolitan 
charities, in the provincial congregations. 

LADY-VISITORS IN PRISONS. By Miss Mary A. Ensor. Miss 
Ensor has for nine years been a lady-visitor at H.M. prison at Norwich. 
During that time a thousand women and girls have passed through the 
prison, all of whom have been more or less dealt with morally and spiri- 

406 Appendix. 

tually. The chaplain of the prison bears eloquent testimony to the value 
of a woman's work amongst women. 

paper speaks specially of work of this character undertaken by the 
Lodging-House Mission in Westminster, the general object being to visit 
the inmates of the common lodging-houses, to assist those who desire to 
ameliorate their condition, and to provide bright gospel services every 
Sunday. A prominent feature is the work of rescue, for which there is 
here great scope. Of the service which can thus be rendered by women 
to women, Mrs. Moyes has written in another paper. The Mission is 
now forming a home where young children and forlorn girls can be taken 
and restored, perhaps, to parents. One mother once told the writer she 
had " cried herself to sleep," wondering where her child was. The girls 
are often well-born and educated, and have left home for some fancy, or 
have married, fallen into poverty, and then drifted down and down, more 
or less degraded by the process. But some are only poverty-stricken, and 
still bear such unmistakable signs of innocence that, upon one occasion, 
a lodging-house keeper asked them not to sleep in his house, and obtained 
a bed elsewhere for them. The visits of the Mission have improved the 
keepers of the houses, and there is plenty of evidence that without the aid 
of women much less good would be done than is actually effected. 

F. Moyes. In her paper on this subject, Mrs. Moyes speaks with the 
authority of one having special practical knowledge of this work. She 
says she knows of "no other that claims the consecrated service of 
women more than this." It is essentially a work for women. " I have 
often seen the falling tear when, out of a full heart, a sister has been 
speaking of the power of Christ's love to save and keep." Singing is a 
great aid in this work, and many hearts have been touched when, in a 
tender, feeling manner, a lady- worker has sung such a hymn as " Where 
is my wandering boy to-night ? " Especially useful work can be done by 
women by bringing about the reconciliation so easily effected with a little 
friendly aid, and so difficult otherwise between the erring daughter and 
the mother. An effort is made, by members of the Lodging-House Mis- 
sion, to keep in touch, by correspondence, with all girls rescued. 

SISTERS. This Mission gives a definite and recognized sphere of Chris- 
tian work to seventy refined and educated women of the Methodist and 
other evangelical Churches. Sin, sickness, and starvation are the three 
evils with which the Mission has to deal. The Mission has four branches, 
in East, West, Central, and South London. The sisters of the East 
Branch, numbering thirty, live in Wellclose Square, in the midst of the 
people. They enter cellars, garrets, and public-houses, and find out what 
is called the lower stratum of society. Children's meetings and open-air 
services are held. There is a "girls' parlour," where factory-girls and 
others receive careful training and oversight, a rescue home at Black- 
heath, and a Medical Mission. The effect of the work is apparent in 
improved homes, reformed characters, and thousands of children's lives 

Appendix. 407 

brightened. Mrs. Hugh Price Hughes is superintendent of the West 
Branch. These ladies (numbering thirty) are called " Sisters of the 
People," and their home is in Fitzroy Square. Candidates must be over 
twenty-one years of age, and must serve a probation. The sisters have 
a creche for babies and young children, a labour bureau for all out 
of work, and a registry office for servants. A perfect system of relief 
has been organized. There are also girls' and boys' clubs, kindergarten 
classes, slate and goose clubs, penny banks, and Saturday afternoon 
excursions for poor children. The poor of the workhouse, when let out 
on Saturdays, are treated to a tea, followed by a service. The Medical 
Mission is a prominent feature. Policemen, soldiers, and sailors are 
looked after ; and at St. James's Hall, on Sunday evenings, there is the 
largest voluntary attendance of soldiers in London. " Preventive " and 
rescue work is efficiently carried on. At the Central Branch, the sisters 
live and work in Clerkenwell, amongst a dense artisan population, living 
chiefly in vast blocks of workmen's dwellings. The operations are similar 
to those at other branches, visitation of the poor not under religious 
influences being the most prominent feature. The South Branch is the 
youngest, and is situated in a locality where drunkenness, crime, and 
immorality are everywhere prominent. The cost of the various sister- 
hoods is, in a large measure, borne by the sisters themselves. Many 
give their services quite gratuitously, and contribute liberally to their 
own support. The chief outside subscribers are women. 

Benyon. The report of this Society shows very gratifying results among 
both men and women. The Women's Society was formed in 1879, and 
is now at work in twenty-five dioceses in England and Scotland. The 
organization is very simple, and the chief aim is to help the members to 
lead Christian lives. Each branch is under the direction of the clergy- 
man of the parish. The workers, who must be communicants, -are 
appointed by him, and co-operate with the existing staff of parochial 
visitors. Whilst the workers must belong to the Church of England, 
there is no such restriction for the women amongst whom they labour. 
The Society for men was formed in 1889. 

Flower Mission : Baskets of flowers are sent up from the country every 
week throughout the year, and are arranged by young ladies into bouquets, 
to which are attached small cards containing texts of Scripture. The 
ladies then distribute the bouquets amongst the inmates of Lambeth 
and Newington Workhouses, and the infirmaries of both parishes. 
About twenty thousand bunches of flowers are thus distributed annually. 
Society for Poor Ministers : Ladies are engaged in supplying articles 
of clothing to poor pastors, and their wives and families. During the 
past year fifty parcels were sent out. The Ladies^ Benevolent Society is 
designed to aid families, especially in the winter, and servants who 
require outfits before taking situations. Mothers' meetings, sewing meet- 
ings for the Maternal Society, and other agencies for supplying clothing 
to the needy, are also carried on. 

408 Appendix. 

* THE MILDMAY INSTITUTIONS. By Mrs. Pennefather. The very 
complete and important work carried on at the Mildmay Institutions 
is known all over the world. It was begun by the late Rev. William 
Pennefather, who had charge of the parish of St. Jude, Mildmay Park, 
and whose object was to draw Christians together, irrespective of 
denominational differences, for common work. The large hall was built, 
around which sprang up agencies of various kinds. No public appeals 
for subscriptions, no exhibitions or entertainments for the purpose of 
raising funds, are countenanced. Of the .29,000 which is annually 
required, much is provided by workers, nurses, and others; while the 
remainder, with the exception of a trifling sum of 132, is provided by 
voluntary contributions. 

At the Conference Hall, needlework is found for poor women ; beef- 
tea, light puddings, etc., are supplied to the sick poor from the invalid 
kitchen ; and a Bible Flower Mission distributes flowers, or, at Christmas- 
time, little gifts, to the patients of hospitals and infirmaries. A men's 
night school has 97 1 members ; there is a cottage hospital, and a nursery 
home, with no trained sisters and nurses, who are sent to any part of 
the kingdom at an hour's notice. Orphan girls are maintained and 
trained for servants, and a servants' home and registry benefits thirteen 
hundred young women annually. The organization also includes a penny 
bank. General mission work is carried on from branch establishments 
planted in fifteen of the poorest districts of London, and agencies for the 
advancement of temperance, thrift, etc., are attached to each of these 
centres. The General Mission at Bethnal Green, for example, conducts, 
besides usual mission work, a coffee-bar, a men's institute and lodging- 
house, a savings bank, a mothers' meeting and creche, sewing-class, 
soup-kitchen, lads' institute, and a medical mission hospital. In another 
district of London, Trinity Street, Borough, is a rescue and preventive 
home. The English Hospital and Medical Mission at Jaffa, Palestine, 
is worked by eight Mildmay deaconesses ; and workers, though not 
funds, are supplied to institutions at Brighton, Northampton, Oxford, 
Thornton Heath, and Margate. Deaconesses are also at work in 
Kingston (Jamaica), at Malta, Peshawur, and elsewhere. This is not a 
work originated by a woman, or carried on solely by women ; but, in 
any record of philanthropic women's work in England, it is impossible 
to omit it. Like the ministrations carried on by the Society of Friends, 
the Moravians, and other bodies, it has had its influence on thousands 
of women who have been called into active service through its numerous 
agencies. Its name will appear constantly in connection with other 
work with which it affiliates itself. 

Since this report of Mr. Pennefather's work was sent to me by his 
widow, she, too, has passed away from the world whose sins and whose 
sorrows she had so greatly conduced to lighten. As well known in 
America as in England, this event will have caused as much sorrow 
there as in our own land ; her name was a household word wherever 
there was any good work carried on. It is a privilege to be able to 
write even these few lines of sorrow and esteem for one who so recently 
has given me such kind aid in this work. 

Appendix. 409 

CHURCH. This " Unity," or " Brotherhood," has always given a place 
to " sisters," both in individual care exercised by the Church over its 
members and in Christian work. In the ancient Moravian Church 
(1457-1622) matrons were chosen as elders to attend to their own sex 
and encourage them in a virtuous life. At the present time, besides the 
duties indicated, the women attend to the wants of the sick and poor, 
and Sunday-school teaching. Labour in temporal as well as in spiritual 
matters is considered sacred in the Moravian Church, and the women 
have ever endeavoured to do their part for the cause of Christ. From 
the Sisters' Home at Fulneck, Yorkshire (founded by Count Zinzendorf, 
1749), many sisters have gone out into foreign mission fields. The 
sisters toiled hard for their livelihood in spinning, weaving, farming, etc. 
At one time kid-glove making developed into a considerable trade. 
Sometimes, in the face of hunger and persecution, they visited their 
flocks, over miles of rough moorland, on foot and on horseback. A 
home for trained nurses has recently been opened at this Institution. 
There is also an admirable charity for girls at Bristol, called the 
Guardian House, which owes its success to the co-operation of Moravian 
women. Several Englishwomen are now labouring as missionaries in 
the West Indian Islands, amongst the North American Indians, and 
amongst the cannibal blacks of North Queensland. It should not be 
forgotten that the lepers in the Leper Home at Jerusalem are tended 
solely by volunteer nurses from the Moravian settlements in Germany. 

THE MOTHERS' UNION. By Mrs, Sumner. Mrs. Sumner feels that 
modern circumstances call upon us to set to work upon the mothers in 
their homes, who, at the instigation of educationalists and philanthropists, 
have, in many cases, lost all sense of responsibility, and shifted their 
duties on to schoolmasters, ministers of religion, and charitable institu- 
tions, in the case of the poor ; or to incompetent nurses and governesses 
in the case of the rich. This is a subject which she has very ably and 
clearly treated in a special article in this volume, to which I would 
earnestly direct attention. 

In 1853 navvies from all parts of the country were engaged on the 
grounds of the Crystal Palace, which had just been erected at Sydenham . 
Over two hundred of them filled the cottages at Beckenham, and to 
Christianize their lives Miss Marsh visited them and called them together 
to explain the Word of God. So successful were her efforts, that on the 
last day of the year, as the workmen imported were returning, a police 
officer called on Miss Marsh, to thank her for the improvement she had 
effected, and to say that never before had the police work been so easy. 
Soon afterwards, the Army Works Corps, destined for the Crimea, 
assembled here. Miss Marsh continued her constant visitations, and 
the influence she acquired with the men enabled her to stop a serious riot 
on one occasion between the police and the men of the corps. Bloodshed 
and possibly loss of life would have occurred, but so great was the respect 
felt for this lady, that on driving between the men and the police, and 

4io Appendix. 

appealing to the former, the tumult was stayed and peace restored. This 
volume contains a detailed account of this work. 


By Mrs, Charles Garnett, The Navvy Mission Society looks after the 
spiritual and material welfare of the navvies. From the men themselves 
came the first suggestion of a brotherhood, or union. They formed the 
Christian Excavators' Union, with thirty-three members. There are 
now over six hundred members. In 1877 followed the Navvy Mission, 
which has a mission and reading room and schools, temperance societies, 
and ambulance classes, at every large settlement in Great Britain. In 
1883 a Navvy Mission was formed for Scotland, with all the features of 
the sister association in England. That the tone of the lives of the 
navvies has improved there can be no doubt ; and the story of how this 
has been accomplished is admirably told by Mrs. Garnett in the body 
of this volume. 

THE ONE TUN SCHOOLS, Westminster Buildings, London. By 
Mrs. Woodhouse. This School was founded by Mrs. Barker Harrison 
(then Miss Cooper), about thirty years since, with the assistance of the 
Earl of Shaftesbury (then Lord Ashley). It originally consisted only of 
an old tap-room and a covered-in yard, and in this way accommodation 
was provided for about 1 50 of the poorest and most destitute children 
without any means of obtaining instruction. A mothers' meeting and 
a working men's club (the second established in London) were soon 
formed. Removal having been forced upon the founders by the Im- 
provement Commissioners, a more luxurious building was erected, and 
soon afterwards the " club " was transformed into a " youths' institute," 
it being thought that by training the young, more good would be done 
than by continuing a club for men, now that so many exist. The new 
Education Act rendered the work of the ragged school unnecessary, and 
it has therefore been discontinued ; but the many other organizations for 
the spiritual and temporal good of the poor, which in the course of years 
gathered around it, are still successfully conducted. The great work 
inaugurated by the Earl of Shaftesbury was enormously aided by women 
like Mrs. Barker Harrison, who understood, it might be said intuitively, 
the evils and the inseparable misery towards which the country must 
tend if the growth of the young were allowed to remain uncared for, and 
left to struggle up to manhood. The care and anxiety thus taken to 
infuse a new spirit into this growing multitude of boys and girls, and to 
give them the new commandment of love, has been well rewarded. 
Teachers have sprung up in the Ragged School Union, and a number of 
men and women who were once children in the One Tun Ragged School, 
followed, in 1888, the dearly loved foundress to the grave, whilst sobs 
choked the young voices trying to sing the words of the parting hymn. 
A man, evidently a stranger, had strolled into the cemetery. He asked 
a bystander whose funeral it was that had brought so many together, who 
were so united in their grief, and many of whom were evidently well 
known to each other. " It must be some great person," he said. " Mrs. 

Appendix. 411 

Barker Harrison," was the answer. " What had she done ? " asked the 
stranger. " She made all you see very happy, and spent her life in trying 
to do them good ; that's all." But Mrs. Barker Harrison influenced many 
more lives than were shown in that churchyard, by the work of which 
the One Tun School was only the centre. One peculiarity of her mind 
was its varied resources, and the ease with which she substituted a new 
plan for another which time and altered circumstances had rendered less 

Street, Strand, London. By Lady Montagu, of Beaulieu. Started in 
London, in 1860, by four ladies who wished to enlist in the service of the 
Church of England an organization on similar lines to one founded about 
that time among the Nonconformists by Mrs. Ranyard. Its distinctive 
feature is the employment of poor women in parochial mission work. 
The organization has spread from London to other large towns, and in 
1892 it employed 178 mission women. Want of funds is the only 
obstacle to the almost indefinite multiplication of these women, for whose 
services poor parishes are constantly clamouring. " The mission 
woman," says Lady Montagu, " is a poor woman employed amongst the 
poor ; she is living under the same physical conditions as they are ; their 
temptations and troubles are, or have been, hers also. . . . She knows, 
as no lady-visitor, however wise and sympathetic, can know, every detail 
of the hindrances that beset them, and her advice and warnings are the 
outcome of personal experience. She urges thrift, and can show them 
how to be thrifty ; she preaches decency of living, and can show them 
how to practise it." Though the weekly wages are calculated on the 
basis of necessary maintenance rather than of adequate payment for work 
done, and the office thus demands the highest motives of self-sacrifice 
and devotion, it is pleasing to find that women capable of rising to this 
high standard are found without much difficulty. One of their duties is 
to collect, week by week, pence which would otherwise be wasted at the 
gin-palace or the sweet-shop, but which are turned to good account in the 
purchase of clothing or household utensils. No bonus or interest of any 
kind is given. In thirty-two years the large sum of ,351,208 has been 
collected in this way. The Association is governed by a small committee 
of ladies, assisted by an honorary treasurer, and a paid lady-secretary and 
assistant. Lady Montagu, who claims that no more practical and success- 
ful philanthropic effort than this has been or is being made by women, 
thus sums up its aims and hopes : "We endeavour to promote thrift, 
decency, cleanliness, and through these to raise the whole moral and 
spiritual level of the lowest class ; we rescue the sinful, we support the 
weak, we encourage the striving ; and so, under that Divine blessing 
without which all efforts are vain, we trust that each year of our work 
may bring forth increasing fruits in souls saved and lives brightened." 
The intention of this Society has no definite bounds, and herein, I hold, is 
its great value. It links in a common bond all who are acting together. 
It is not a link for individuals, but for society, adapted for all, needed 
by all, and its principles of action show the care with which it has been 
directed by its promoters. 

412 Appendix. 

LADIES. By Nita Critchett. Purchase of public-houses : Ladies buy up 
such places, and refit them as coffee-clubs for men. Books, newspapers , 
and periodicals are supplied, whilst arrangements are made for a lecture 
or a musical evening at least once a week. Two houses, recently 
purchased, in populous districts are now largely patronized as clubs, and 
fully answer the aims of the originators. The entire expense is defrayed 
by the purchasers of the property. Work amongst the Blind: Ladies 
learn the Braille system, and translate books for the use of the blind. 
Flower Mission Work : Bunches of flowers, with a text attached, are 
taken by ladies to the hospitals and given to the patients. The Letter 
Mission : On Christmas Eve, an envelope, containing a short letter and 
a Christmas card, is placed under the pillow of each patient in the 
hospital. Other noteworthy efforts, confided to the energy and benevo- 
lence of a few ladies, are small homes for female children rescued from 
cruel parents ; a cottage home for governesses and teachers needing rest 
and change ; a private and free hospital for electric treatment, at Netting 
Hill ; clubs for girls in poor neighbourhoods ; and classes for teaching 
French and German to postmen and sorters. Much work is done by 
ladies enrolled as members of the " Time and Talents Society." 

of the Presbyterian Church of England. Each congregation has a 
district, or parish, in which women, either alone or aided by men, carry 
on the following work : mothers' meetings, classes for young women, girls' 
clubs, bands of hope, women's benefit clubs, window gardening associa- 
tions, Bible and sick nurses' associations, reading to the blind, family 
temperance benefit societies, as well as other societies usually in operation 
in connection with Christian Churches. The ladies also take part in 
public efforts that are being made for the benefit of their sex ; and the 
" Women's Missionary Association " is doing successful work. Dr. Gibson 
considers that mothers' meetings and Bible and sick nurses' associations 
are "the most practical and successful philanthropic efforts made by 

VARIOUS PROVINCIAL CENTRES. By W. D. Walter, Halifax (Yorks.). 
Here is a home in which female evangelists are trained, presided 
over by a lady. Candidates must be fairly educated, be able to sing and 
speak, and consecrated to Christian effort. Each young lady takes her 
share in the housework. When fully qualified they carry on a mission 
in the homes and families of working men. Experience shows that their 
influence over strong, rough men is greater than that exerted by other 
agencies. At Birmingham a sister has a home for factory-girls. At 
Leeds another sister is doing a good work amongst the poor. 

Adela Brooke. Miss Brooke founded a village cricket club at Coombe 
in 1885, and then undertook to provide a Reading-Room. Having col- 
lected ;ioo in three months, she found it impossible to meet with a suit- 
able cottage. Indeed, she was eventually compelled to build one herself. 

Appendix. 4 1 3 

The building was admirably planned by Mr. Wilkinson Moore, of Oxford, 
who made a games-room large enough for popular concerts, men's read- 
ing-room, a reading-room for boys, a good-sized kitchen, committee-room, 
and caretaker's bedroom. Miss Brooke's instructions were that "every- 
thing was to be sacrificed to underneath work that is not seen" drainage 
and foundations. She also ordered all to be done " to last for eternity," 
and pays a warm tribute to the loyal attention paid to her wishes by the 
builder and his foreman. Tea, coffee, aerated waters, and plain food are 
provided. In the grounds are bowling and skittle alleys and a quoit- 
ground ; " putting golf," single-stick, and boxing are practised out of doors. 
The library contains a thousand volumes, and the games-room is provided 
with a billiard-board. The total cost was ^1610 i2s. yd., and in collecting 
this Miss Brooke wrote no less than 21,290 letters. The Institute, which 
is strictly non-political and non-sectarian, is conducted on principles of 
total abstinence. The latter is essential, though there is very little in- 
temperance to combat in the village. No effort is spared to make the 
place really pretty and attractive ; and the result is seen in the numbers 
of men who, after the day's work, troop into this smart little building to 
spend the evening. " Pretty-coloured wall-papers and bright paint " are 
very contemptuously contrasted with " that ugly drab colour " usually seen 
in such places. The subscription is ^d. or 6d. a month. The foundress 
is now trying to raise sufficient to endow her work to the extent of 
^25 a year. 

It is evident that the foundress of this Reading-Room possesses a 
rare but decided opinion as to what constitutes an attractive coffee-house. 
Besides a good fire, a certain amount of beauty and refinement is neces- 
sary, so as to render it as unlike a public-house as possible. It is quite 
evident, as the writer says, "that no coffee-house will stand a chance 
against a public-house unless it is set off with those nameless little atten- 
tions to niceties which are not thought of by the publican." Unfortunately, 
these niceties are not the usual characteristics of coffee-houses. Those 
who promote them appear to labour under the delusion that the absence 
of stimulants is in itself an attraction. At all events, a large amount of 
homely comfort might be provided. I have omitted in these remarks all 
reference to the coffee itself, and in this case I have no doubt of its excel- 
lence ; but I fear that it is often forgotten that, although bad beer may be 
drunk, nobody ever succeeded in swallowing a cup of bad coffee, such as, 
unfortunately, is so often provided in coffee-houses, railway stations, and 
other public places. The originator of this kindly and generous effort 
must have been rewarded for all her trouble and anxieties when she 
saw how the working men benefited by her care and thought for them. 
Members of the Reading-Room have been repeatedly heard to say, " This 
is better and more comfortable than any ' public ' ; we have not got to 
spend any money unless we like." 

Sewell. " To promote the welfare of the people of the poorer districts of 
London, more especially of the women and children, by devising and 
advancing schemes which tend to elevate them by giving them additional 
opportunities for education and recreation," an Association was formed, in 

414 Appendix. 

1887, by members of the women's colleges of Cambridge and Oxford, 
which established its head-quarters in Southwark. The Settlement is 
placed in charge of one of the resident workers. She receives a salary ; 
other residents pay the cost of their board, while the Association pays the 
rent and taxes. There are at present ten residents, some of whom are 
graduates. They fall into classes those who are permanent, and become 
leaders of work in different departments ; and those who come for a limited 
time to gain experience. The central idea of the work is the value of the 
individual and the family, in which, says Miss Sewell, " is wrapped up 
the secret of future happiness and greatness both for the individual him- 
self and for the nation." The work is many-sided, its character is largely 
preventive, and it concerns itself but little with relief, except for the sick (as 
in the way of nursing) and for invalid children. " There can be no strength 
of character without independence, and the tendency of indiscriminate 
relief is to undermine independence. Therefore it must not be. ... 
Each individual must be taught to rely on himself." Believing firmly 
in co-operation, the Association originates few schemes itself, but works 
for other bodies, such as the poor-law guardians, the School Board 
managers, the Charity Organization Society, the Metropolitan Association 
for Befriending Young Servants, and the London Pupil Teachers' Associ- 
ation. " New things we only start if we believe they are really wanted, 
and then only after consultation with others." The importance of personal 
work is strongly insisted on by the Association. " Councils and com- 
mittees and boards have their place," Miss Sewell admits ; " but the 
noblest and best work is not done by them ; it is done by men and 
women." A definite and organized course of training for workers has 
been arranged, with lectures upon such subjects as economics, poor law, 
local government, education, sanitation, principles of organization and 
relief, thrift, etc. Courses of reading will be prescribed, and students 
will be asked to write papers. The main object of the Settlement is to 
prevent the poor from drifting downwards. The members do not believe 
in zeal without knowledge, and therefore take every means of fitting them- 
selves for the successful carrying out of the important and arduous work 
they have entered upon. 

Norfolk Street, Strand, London. By Mrs. John Kirk. The Ragged School 
Union, which embraces 214 distinct Ragged School Unions and Insti- 
tutes, had its root in a tiny effort begun in 1844, which became known 
as a " Ragged " school mainly through the writings of the late Charles 
Dickens. From that time until his death in 1888, the late Lord Shaftes- 
bury headed the movement. In the 214 local centres are conducted 258 
sabbath afternoon and evening schools, with an attendance of 49,877 ; 
21 day schools, with 1682 ; 59 week-night schools, with 3144 ; 92 indus- 
trial classes, with 4155 ; 297 special religious services, with 25,732; 204 
Bible-classes, with 4228 ; 127 mothers' meetings, with 7269 ; 242 prayer- 
meetings, with 8240; 129 bands of hope, with 10,833 members; 128 
school libraries, with 31,141 volumes ; 73 penny banks, with 21,041 
depositors ; 46 clothing clubs ; 32 recreation clubs, with 1205 members ; 
72 men's and lads' clubs, gymnasiums, etc., with 3008 members. Despite 

Appendix. 415 

the rough and arduous, and often unpleasant, nature of the work, women 
have from the first been the readiest, trustiest, and most devoted helpers in 
the Ragged School movement, not merely in teaching, but in visiting the 
homes of the poor, in attending to the sick, feeding the hungry, clothing 
the naked, rescuing the destitute, taking care of the ten holiday homes, 
ministering to the wants of crippled and otherwise afflicted children, 
superintending mothers' meetings, sewing - classes, cookery - classes, 
musical drill, and in a hundred other ways. " Some 25,000 of the noblest 
women in England," says the report, " from the highest in the land to 
representatives of the humblest ranks, have worked zealously in the 
Ragged School classes, rendering helpful, self-denying service in rescuing 
and elevating children of the slums." At present there are about 4000 
women workers. Her Majesty the Queen is patron of the Society. Last 
summer over 5000 poor persons of all ages and both sexes enjoyed a 
fortnight's change, either in country cottages or seaside homes under the 
Union. There are eight day nurseries or creches, holding about 400 
infants. Each nursery has its ladies' committee, its matron, and its staff 
of women-helpers. The clothing department last year distributed about 
20,000 garments, boots, etc. In 1891-92 the total income of the parent 
Union was ,13,475. 

The lines of this vast and complex organization were laid down at the 
outset with singular prevision of the needs of the future. The history of 
the Union is linked closely with the life of the first president, and charac- 
terized by the most marked features of his individuality. The Earl of 
Shaftesbury, beyond all others of his generation, whether as Lord Ashley 
in the House of Commons, or as a peer in his later life, possessed an 
instinctive sympathy with the toils and troubles of the poor, as well as an 
invincible energy which enabled him to grapple with, and in many cases 
to overcome, the forces of evil. But whilst he was a zealous a quixotic, 
as some thought disciple of the Church militant, and his religious 
convictions allowed no compromise between right and wrong, either in 
belief or practice, his actions were dictated by a lofty principle in which 
there was not the faintest trace of sectarian narrowness ; and in this, as 
in many another large Society of this day, future historians will probably 
be surprised to find that he, who has been called a bigot, laid, directly or 
indirectly, the broadest foundation of toleration and sympathy in Chris- 
tian philanthropy. And he preserved these characteristics to the last day 
of his long and remarkably useful life. The evils he saw, the misery he 
realized, in his youth, were felt just as keenly, and striven against just as 
strongly, in his old age. Happily he was permitted to see the good seed 
he had sown broadcast spring up and bear abundant fruit. The bread 
which he cast upon the waters returned to him in the love and homage 
of the multitudes whose cruel wrongs he had righted, whom he had 
relieved from many a crushing load, whose feet he had prevented from 
straying into the paths of wickedness and vice. But to the last, knowing 
that tares must spring up amongst the wheat, and that even a good object 
may have its dangerous side, he was ever on the alert to root out the ill 
weeds, and to foster and stimulate the growth of the grain, until it 
ripened into a golden harvest. Few men discussed all subjects more 

416 Appendix. 

freely. All sought him for advice, sympathy, help, consolation, and none 
rich or poor, clever or simple left him without feeling that they were 
parting from one who deeply cared for each one personally. To children 
he was an irresistible magnet. It was for them his kind heart first ached; 
it was for them he laboured so hard to pass through Parliament the 
Factory Bill, which was one of his earliest, as it was certainly one of his 
greatest, triumphs as a reformer. Nor did he ever lose sight of the cause 
of the little ones, for whom years afterwards in conjunction with the 
Bishop of London, Cardinal Manning, and a few ladies he established 
the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, which 
has since been recognized by the State as the legal guardian of outcast 
and persecuted childhood. Mrs. Kirk's admirably written paper affords 
an adequate view of a pious and charitable woman's work, which has 
always kept pace with the exigencies of the poorest classes. 

From each of the dioceses into which England, Wales, and Ireland 
are divided, full reports of the charitable and Christianizing works carried 
on in them have been supplied. To glance at these reports is to be struck 
at once with the enormous volume and the exhaustive variety of the 
benevolent undertakings which they display. Here again it is difficult 
" to see the wood for the trees." No doubt the names of many of these 
institutions are repeated in all the diocesan reports : such great societies 
as the Young Women's Christian Association, the Girls' Friendly Associa- 
tion, the Rescue Societies, the societies for the care of children, and many 
others, extend into all the bishoprics. London is naturally the centre and 
starting-place of institutions intended to operate over the whole kingdom, 
and not only within these islands, but sometimes beyond. But all or 
nearly all have distinct agencies in the dioceses of the English Church 
even in the smaller towns of each diocese ; and in most cases the local 
branches of these great associations are under the direction of women. 
But other large cities are prolific in good works of a like kind, and a great 
number of benevolent institutions have come into existence through the 
pressure of local needs or the promptings of individual philanthropy. 
Such, for example, is the machinery at work in different places for the 
material advantage or the moral welfare of seamen, miners, and the 
factory populations. As soon, however, as we begin to particularize, we 
find the number of these charities nearly endless. As we look through 
these reports, it seems as if almost every privation, almost every affliction 
known to humanity, has been thought of and provided for in some measure, 
small or great. 

All the diocesan reports give a careful account of the various benevolent 
and religious agencies at work within the limits of each bishopric ; and 
if some of the reports are narrowed to the extreme of brevity, others 
afford detail of a particular and interesting description. One of the most 
conspicuous is that of Mrs. Benson, wife of the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, who speaks for the Southern Province ; and another, Mrs. Boyd 
Carpenter's report from Ripon, which is in the Northern Province, where 
the greater manufacturing towns of England abound. Most of these 
reports have been of service to the writers of the Congress papers ; and, 

Appendix. 4 1 7 

taken as a whole, they show very strikingly how woman's work in Eng- 
land is mapped out all over the country, and how much of it is carried 
on under the directly fostering care of the Church. 

MARINERS' SOCIETY OF ENGLAND. This work was founded amid the 
first vivid impressions of Grace Darling's deed of heroism fifty-five years 
ago. It specially seeks out and succours the widow and children of the 
drowned sailor ; while it cares for and restores to his family the one who 
happily has been saved. This work has naturally strong claims upon 
the women of England, linked by so many ties with a seafaring 

THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. To the Archbishop of West- 
minster I am indebted for the unique and full account of the charities 
carried on in connection with his own Church ; and to some other bishops 
of that Church I am also indebted for reports of the large philanthropic 
work carried on by women of their faith. Most of their charitable works 
are sustained by members of their religious bodies, acting in communities. 
But Catholic ladies not in strict connection with religious service combine 
usually in social efforts carried on by those differing from their own com- 
munion, and are found on many of the committees formed for the purpose 
of helping the poor and the suffering, and other Christian objects. 

These and all the other reports of religious bodies and social organiza- 
tions give widespread, accurate, and systematic information of the large 
amount of work and devotion which stimulates all the workers in all the 
various denominations for the general welfare of the country in which 
they are citizens. 

ST. DOMINIC. This community has four houses. At Stone is a Novitiate 
Home, with about sixty members, who conduct poor schools for 33ochildren, 
a higher boarding school for twenty-five, a hospital for incurables, with 
forty patients and a small orphanage. At Stoke-on-Trent are similar 
poor schools and hospital, with a high school for 1 50 pupils. At Torquay 
are schools and an orphanage, and at Bow are schools similar to the 
establishment at Stone. 

DAUGHTERS OF THE CROSS, St. Wilfred's, Chelsea, London. This 
community has six houses in England, with no sisters. They have 
2127 children under their care. 

THE FAITHFUL COMPANIONS. With 451 members, the community 
has fifteen convents in England and Scotland. 9300 children are taught 
by them in elementary schools, and 1053 in various classes in other 
schools. 140 pupil teachers are boarded in the convents. The sisters 
also visit the sick poor. 

convents belonging to this body in England, Scotland, and Wales. The 
" religious " number 173, having charge of 1320 penitents and 130 children 
in the reformatory and industrial schools. 

2 E 

4 1 8 Appendix. 

The community has two houses, with fifty-four religious. There are 
163 penitents. 

has three houses, with forty-six religious, having charge of 272 orphans 
and 148 day scholars. 

SISTERS OF CHARITY OF ST. PAUL, Selly Park, Birmingham. This 
community has for its object the teaching of children and the care of the 
sick poor. The sisters have also the care of orphans ; they instruct 
adults, and prepare them for the holy sacraments. They have fifty-one 
branch convents, besides the mother house. There are in the branches 
406 sisters, having charge of 18,131 children. 

AND IRELAND. This order has between three and four hundred sisters, 
and educates about 13,500 children, not including those who attend night 
schools only. 

SISTERS OF MERCY. The sisters have seventy houses, 1022 nuns, 
26,783 day schools, 2513 pupils in middle and orphan schools, and 826 
girls in their Houses of Mercy. 

An excellent statistical statement is given of the works of the Sisters 
of Mercy in England and Scotland, but is not capable of being satisfac- 
torily presented in the form of an abstract. 

CROSS AND PASSION. The sisters, numbering 152, have charge of 6122 
children in the day schools, 2427 grown girls and women, and 2265 

DAME IN ENGLAND. This body has nineteen convents, 516 sisters, and 
37,029 pupils. They receive young ladies as boarders, train teachers, 
and have 1474 pupils in the high school. 

LITTLE SISTERS OF THE POOR, Portobello Road, London. This 
community has twenty-eight houses, 403 sisters, and keeps 3132 old 

POOR SISTERS OF NAZARETH. This community has, in England 
and Scotland, 179 sisters, having charge of 773 old people, and 1406 
children. In Ireland, Africa, and Australia are sixty-four sisters, with 
355 old people and 665 children under their care. 

TERTIARY FRANCISCAN HOUSES. There are five such houses, with 
128 nuns, having charge of 307 orphans, and conducting small high 

UNITARIANISM. Dr. James Martineau writes to me, in reply to my 
inquiry, an interesting letter, in the course of which he says, "When 
asked to enumerate the institutions in the Unitarian 'body' in which 
women are distinctively or specially concerned, I find my answer embar- 

Appendix, 419 

rassed by two difficulties, which I must try to explain, viz. (i) There is 
no such thing as ' a Unitarian body ' existing apart as an ecclesiastical 
organization, like the Church of England, or the Wesleyan Society, or 
the Baptists, or the ' Friends ; ' the name ' Unitarian ' denoting a theolo- 
gical opinion which has arisen in worshipping societies once otherwise 
minded, and is distributed among persons of various communions Pres- 
byterian, Baptist, Congregationalist. I am myself Presbyterian in deno- 
mination, and Unitarian in theology. In that theology there is nothing 
to make people act together, and act apart from others, in the philan- 
thropic work which specially appeals to women. They have the same 
affections and the same duties as their Christian sisters of other per- 
suasions, and will be found working side by side with them in all benevo- 
lent crusades against the sins and remediable sufferings of social life. 
Hence I cannot furnish a list of women's work-societies distinctively 
Unitarian. (2) In those Nonconformist congregations which have 
become prevailingly Unitarian, the sentiment is very deeply felt that all 
souls are alike in their Divine relations, and in Christ there is ' neither 
male nor female, neither bond nor free ; ' and there is consequently a dis- 
inclination to sever the entire sanctity of life into a religion for men and 
a religion for women. Every part of each ought to command the sym- 
pathy and help of the other, all through. And though practical modes of 
labour divide themselves naturally by the distinctive attributes of sex, 
there is no serious duty that does not want them both, so that its per- 
formance calls for partnership, not severance. Hence there is always a 
presumption against separate women's work. Our people, therefore, dis- 
trust all approaches to monastic classification of the functions of Christian 
life, and have no sisterhood appropriating duties from which men are to 
be held excused. Hence, again, I cannot name any philanthropic insti- 
tution depending exclusively on the self-devotion of Unitarian women. 
But I do not know of any kind of benevolent work in which they will not 
be found contributing their full proportion to its faithful and effective 

Union has been described in the Congress paper on the work of the Royal 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Miss Lucas, in 1885, 
founded a children's band of mercy in the village of Filby, where her 
father was rector, and its success soon led to the formation of similar 
societies in the surrounding villages, which were afterwards united for 
administrative purposes. 

HOME OF REST FOR HORSES. Originated, in 1886, by Miss Anna 
Lindo, for " old favourites," the property of poor persons. The Home is 
situated at Friar's Place Farm, Acton. As many as six hundred animals 
have received the comforts of the Home since its establishment. 

4 2 o Appendix. 



Louie Rowcliffe. In 1892 there were sixty cabmen on the stand adjoin- 
ing this station without shelter of any kind, who were thus driven to the 
public-house for their meals and such comforts as they needed. The 
railway companies gave a site for building a shelter, the cost of erecting 
which was ^165, the sum being provided by public subscriptions, collected 
by Miss Louie Rowcliffe, to whom the enterprise owes its origin. The 
building, which is not only a refuge, but a little restaurant, is kept in 
repair by the men, and they also pay a man who acts as cook and care- 
taker. The whole movement for supplying cabmen's shelters has had 
such a beneficial effect on the drivers and owners of cabs, that its success 
has more than repaid the kind hearts that saw the old evil and set to work 
to get it remedied. Few movements have made a more visible mark for 
good, or have had a more beneficial effect on a large class of men, while 
it has indirectly helped the horse which serves both them and the public. 

Society assists poor infirm widows and single women in London over 
sixty years of age, possessing or receiving less than 8s. per week. It 
was founded in 1802. About three hundred aged deserving women, 
of whom sixty-eight are inmates of almshouses, are relieved regularly 
by a grant of eight guineas per annum, and coals during the winter 

* HOMES FOR THE AGED POOR. These Homes are now under the 
care of a committee in connection with the Society for Promoting 
Female Welfare. They were started in 1869, by a lady who took an 
old married couple out of the Union, and thus enabled them to spend 
together the remainder of their days. There are now eleven houses, 
with 109 rooms, providing accommodation for 140 aged persons. The 
mode of management, scale of payments, etc., have been carefully 
thought out ; and it may well be termed essentially a woman's work, 
springing, as it does, from the loving thought of one woman. 

Adam Pearson. This is a very valuable description of a Home of 
Rest, designed for persons of good character for "those who have 
humble but decent homes, but are now left alone in the world by age, 
or from loss of their relatives, and, on account of having no one to care 
for them, are compelled to seek the shelter of the much-dreaded work- 
house." It is pointed out that no such homes are to be found in 
Scotland as are represented in England by almshouses, found in nearly 
every old town and country village. At the present moment public 
attention in England is directed to the subject of old-age pensions, and 
to the unhappy, and I am bound to say the unkind, if not unjust, position 
of the respectable poor in workhouses or unions. At such a juncture 
the expression of opinion by one as capable as Mrs. Pearson is of great 

Appendix. 421 

importance. Another part of the report deserves careful consideration ; 
for it points to a possible combination of at least some charities which, 
wisely combined under elastic conditions, might effect much good in 
improving the condition of old people, who have been good citizens, and 
are simply reduced by the untoward events of life to poverty, which, by 
itself and when not allied to vice, is surely no crime. 

This is a question too large to be treated successfully in a paper so short 
as that to which circumstances compelled Miss Everest to limit her 
remarks. She does not regard the flat system as the best, but as an 
unfortunate necessity ; and, that being so, she gives valuable suggestions 
as to the principles on which model dwellings should be built. I endorse 
her remarks as to the dangerous facilities offered to the spread of 
infectious disease and she might have added, of fire by a staircase 
inside a building, which, of course, acts as a ventilating shaft. Miss